Mount Cook National Park

Written by Stuart Revnell No Gravatar

Yesterday we left Christchurch in the rain, and spent a very strange jet lagged few hours winding our way down through deserted farmland (bar the sheep) to Mount Cook National Park, stopping only for a much needed nap in a town car park somewhere.  Jet lag and the airport floor were catching up with me, and we decided to pull over before I fell asleep at the wheel – a common problem, presumably, judging from the number of signs everywhere.

We finally arrived at our camp site around 19:30.  The weather was clearing up, but there was a lot of cloud, so, whilst the latter half of the journey was very enjoyable, it was something more akin to a lovely drive through the Lake District on a cloudy day than the sweeping Lord of The Rings vistas we had been expecting.

Today when we woke up though, the clouds had started to clear.  The feeling of just getting out of the van into the fresh air, surrounded by mountains, was invigorating, and after some muesli and tea, we made our sandwiches, packed our day sacks, and set off on the trail to Hooker Valley, one of the main walks in the area.

The sun had burnt off the cloud by now, and the day was turning out beautifully.  Within ten minutes, it felt like we were entering the wilderness, and as we walked up to the Hooker Lake, crossing suspension bridges over crystal clear streams, through beautiful heathers, grass and rocky paths, all surrounded by sweeping mountains, we revelled in the beautiful, vast landscape which surrounded us.  Finally we reached the lake, and were rewarded with a spectacular view of Mount Cook (at c. 3,700 metres, New Zealand’s highest peak), towering high above the lake, which was dotted with small icebergs which had broken off from the glacier far in the distance.

I decided it would be good to go and see the glacier – “We’ll be there in half an hour”, I enthused, before bounding off along the rocky shoreline.  An hour and a half later, we reached its snout, and as we sat there on our own, not a tourist or souvenir shop in sight, eating our salami and brie sandwiches, watching rocks tumble into the water from the top of the glacier, and hearing the creaking noises as the ice moved painstakingly slowly through the valley, I think I can speak for us both when I say we ‘got’ what New Zealand was about.

 

3 Responses to “Mount Cook National Park”

  1. SusieNo Gravatar says:

    OMG it looks stunning, I am awed by it…Jane you look soo skinny, fantastic, hope to hear more soon

    S

  2. JeffNo Gravatar says:

    Glacier looks awesome!

    Well worth the extra walk – you are both going to be so fit and healthly when you get back! Perhaps a late entry to the olympics in London?

    Jeff

  3. SusieNo Gravatar says:

    in the words of the esteemed Craig Revel Hall

    Am Az Ing!!!!!

    time of your lives, enjoy.. missing you lots xx

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