Time spent with beautiful Mt Cook
Trip Start Sep 22, 2011
83Trip End Aug 11, 2012
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Where I stayed
Parklands Alpine Tourist Park, Twizel
What I did
Continuing up the coast road we eventually reached Omaru. This is the little town where our friend Sonya, from the South America tour was from, so we thought it only right to stop in for a fish and chip lunch. Just after Omaru we turned inland and headed for the mountains. The drive was again stunning and we followed the river and passed a few more beautiful lakes
Monday morning we drove north from Twizel towards Mount Cook, or Aoraki as it is known in the Mauri language. For those who don't know, Mt Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain. The drive from Twizel to Mt Cook village took around 45 minutes, but along the way we stopped off to take some photos of Lake Pukaki. The view was amazing with the almost turquoise coloured waters stretching off into the backdrop of the mountain range. Peter's view point was a great place to stop on the way back for photos.
When we reached Mt Cook Village we found that the weather had come in off the mountains and it was cloudy and drizzling. The forecast said that it would possibly clear up later in the afternoon and so we decided to pass a little time wandering around the information centre before driving out to see the Tasman Glacier. The viewing point for the glacier was down a long gravel road, on which we had to drive stupidly slow if we didn't want to be shaken to death. The car's suspension wasn't up it the challenge of gravel roads. Once out the car we climbed up to the higher viewing point and saw the massive glacier stretching from the lake at the bottom, all the way back up the mountain valley. We could also see a few icebergs floating around in the lake and so we heading down to the lower track to get a closer look, and waste a little more time as the clouds were still looming above. Once back at the visitor centre in Mt Cook village we had lunch, I had a sleep and Alex wandered around the info centre again. I joined her later and found there was a really interesting exhibit about the history of climbing the mountains in the area
As it turned out, the forecast had truly underestimated the improvement in the weather. It was a stunner of a day! With the blue skies and sunshine we decided to head back to Mt Cook and tackle the Sealy Tarns track for a different view of the valley. We quickly realised though that this wasn't going to be a gental walk toward the lake, but instead a 'climb' up the surrounding mountain side, or at least that's how it felt
The route back down only took an hour and because we had set out quite early in the morning we kept passing people who were just starting. That definitely cheered us up as they would ask if it was a long way to the top.
Back down in the village we sorted ourselves out with some lunch before meeting up with James and Sophie again
Hope you are all well and still enjoying the blog entries.
Miss you all
Paul and Alex