Mysterious Mount Cook

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , Canterbury,
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Our first day setting off to see the sights and sounds of New Zealand! That charming lady-cousin and her husband have been good enough to lend us a vehicle so we can get around to all the best places.

The morning we left was full of clouds and rain (they Had had an abnormally hot and dry summer/fall and even a drought until the day we arrived – now it's been 3 days of rain...). Most of the souther alps were shrouded in clouds. What we can see is greatly reminding us of Scotland. In parts, we could have been driving through the Tweed Valley. But then the BIG mountains came. As we approached the area of Mt Cook (the tallest mountain in NZ) the sky began to clear.

We looked in awe at brilliant blue waters with mountain backdrops.  Hillsides lit up with late day light and newly fallen snow shone on the tippy tops. It was heaven. Must have taken over an hour to drive the 55km road to Mt Cook from the start of Lake Pukaki as I wanted to stop ever few seconds and take pictures.

A lovely camp ground nestled in the old glacial plain, sandwiched between 3 glaciers: Mueller, Hooker and Tasman. Everywhere we walk there is this intoxicating smell of honey. Can't decide if it's the grasses or another plant. Took a little walk along the Hooker valley to see some of the views (and track down the source of the smell).  Can't wait to get out and do some longer hikes!

Things are quite a bit colder here than they have been anywhere else we've been travelling. Already, we've bought some sweaters and jackets and will need another pair of jeans as well. Pulling out the gloves and hats that have been buried in our bags for the last 5 months (at least they're getting used). We'll see how we do sleeping out in our Aussie tent and borrowed sleeping bags. Right now hot tea and beautiful views will keep me warm.

The next morning we wanted to summit a nearby peak for some early light views of Mount Cook, but the cloud had sacked in again and we wouldn't have been able to see anything anyways. Instead, we drove up to the Tasman glacier. Mostly it was a big pile of rubble (as the
glacier is currently receding). At it's base was a lake filled with ice burgs and people were taking boat rides out on it. At the far end of the lake, the sky was clear, but looking back there was
still no view of Mount Cook. We shall try again!

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Eunah Hunter on

Will you consider visiting Tasmania? Is New Zealand your final destination?

2totango on

unfortunately we missed out on Taz when we were in Australia. It was on the list, but some things changed with our host family and we were unable to go. Next time!

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