I don’t know why but for some reason no matter how many times I’ve travelled the South Island it wasn’t until my latest road trip the I finally visited Mt Cook and now I can’t wait to re visit in winter to see it in all its glory covered in snow.
We planned it so that it would be sunny on hiking days but did not expect the shit storm on the drive in. The rain was so heavy it was crazy and so the view when we arrived was very underwhelming.
However, as the rain stopped and the sky cleared we realised how beautiful the area is. The village is surrounded by mountains covered in snow and ice as well as waterfalls. It’s truly stunning. We stayed at the youth hostel. It’s good for a bed but I didn’t think the service was all that great but for the price you can’t really go wrong if you’re happy to stay in a hostel. Otherwise there are plenty of fancy hotels around.
In the morning we headed to our first track, the Hooker Valley track which is sign posted as a three hour walk. It’s a walk I think everyone should do and given the gradient is near to nothing there is no excuse not to do it. And who could say no to these views?The track was busy but we managed to maintain our pace and stopped a lot to take photos. Instagram had already made me aware of the fact there was a swing bridge on the walk but I didn’t realise how many there were. Walking across each one you could hear the river roaring underneath you and it was epic!Of course the most spectacular part was reaching the end and to my surprise along with the view of Mt Cook there was an iceberg in the lake and someone game enough to swim out to it while we all watched on feeling cold for him!If you just wanted to visit the area for the day before heading back to Twizel/Tekapo do this walk and pack a lunch! It’s honestly the perfect place to stop and have a picnic. Do the Hooker Valley track, you won’t regret it!
As for other walks we also went out to the Tasman Glacier area. Now we thought we were in for a treat with a walk to blue lakes but boy were we wrong. See the next photo and you’ll understand. The most annoying part… if we had of gone up to see the Tasman Glacier first we would have seen the ‘ blue lakes’ and not wasted our time 😂The view point for the glacier was up a hill and the glacier has receded a lot in recent years due to global warming so it is quite far in the distance but I still enjoyed the view. The area also has other walks which take you down to the river and lake to see the place from different perspectives.As a whole the national park on a sunny day is incredible! It is well worth the journey out of Christchurch and could easily be done over a weekend.
If you’re wanting to explore, go and do it.
Thanks for reading, Cait xx