Our first glacier, but not the last

Trip Start Aug 24, 2008
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Trip End Jul 07, 2009


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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, June 8, 2009

After breakfast we drove to Aoraki Mount Cook. The drive took over 2 hours, but took us through some spectacular scenery. We almost drove into a low-flying eagle in the hills. Mount Cook Village consisted of a hotel and not much else, but we went inside to have a look at the Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. It was basically a history of the area with a video of the life of Edmund Hillary, and a 3D cinema and a planetarium. There was also a statue of Hillary. We drove down to a valley with a picnic area and had lunch. We were pestered by two hungry ducks who it turns out, don't like crisps! We then set off on the 3 hour Hooker Valley walk. This took us through the valley, past a lake and over two rope bridges. We crossed a river, turned the corner, got an excellent view of Mount Cook covered in lots of snow, saw 2 avalanches actually happen in front of us, crossed another stream and continued to a frozen lake with a glacier, the Tasman Glacier. The whole walk was beautiful, with great views of the valley and the mountains, but the best part was the glacier. It was large and blue and loads of ice chunks had fallen off it and were frozen into place in the lake. David amused himself by trying, and failing, to break the ice by throwing large rocks at it, while I took artistic photos of the ice and the reflection of the mountains in the lake. As it got late, we headed back. The sky turned orange as the light faded, and we had a full moon to guide us on the way back to Wanaka.

Back in Wanaka, all the shops were shut to we went to the cinema for dinner.. It was a boutique cinema with sofas (and randomly, a car) to sit in, and you could take food and drink in with you. We sat eating fish pie on trays on our laps (David had quesedilla), while watching Angels and Demons on the sofa. There was an interval where I got hot chocolate. The film was better than the Da Vinci Code, but was quite long so we didn't get to bed until late.
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