Well, the last major thing on my to-do list for today is to get a blog post up. I have this on my list every week, several days each week, and generally it doesn’t happen—my time fills up with other things before I get there. But perhaps today I can cross it off; we’ll see!
Our fourth day started a little slow, but soon we were on the road to Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand. We’d been up there as a family two other times, but since we were in the area again, everyone was keen to have another look around.
I love the views of Mount Cook as you drive up the valley toward the Mount Cook Village!
At one of the places we stopped to get a picture of the mountain, we also were able to get a family picture—one goal of our trip crossed off the list!
We drove around to Tasman Glacier first, had lunch, and headed up to the Tasman Glacier lookout. It’s a beautiful climb through tussock land. This time, there weren’t as many icebergs on the glacial lake as we’ve seen other times; apparently, the other times had extraordinarily large amounts, so I wasn’t too sad about that. As always, what little we could see of the glacier was impressive, although I think my favorite time of the year to see it is in winter, when snow covers the gravel on top of the glacier.
Little sister and I got a picture together. I was really starting to feel the effects of two days in the sunshine, but that didn’t dim the enjoyment of the day. 🙂
Looking down the valley toward lake Pukaki, I’ve always been impressed by the greens and browns and purples. Just gorgeous!
After enjoying our time at the Tasman Glacier, we went around to Hooker Valley, which is probably my favorite walk up in the Mount Cook area (seeing as I’ve only ever done the two!). It’s a beautiful cross-country tramp, about an hour or hour and a half long if you take it at a leisurely pace, and you see two different glacial lakes on the way.
First is the lake from the Mueller Glacier, which I didn’t realize until this trip is actually fed by the glacier—I saw the upper reaches of the glacier on the walk back this time. The lake flows into a river, which joins the Hooker River, and you cross it via a swingbridge—always a highlight to my brothers, of course.
The day was not super hot, but it was mostly sunny. A perfect tramping day!
The mountain views were just gorgeous. This is Mount Cook presiding over the Hooker River.
I stayed with my brothers all the way up there, and generally was just a few steps behind. They walk faster than I’m used to, but I was still able to enjoy the scenery! It’s all rocks, bushes, water in all forms of presentation (frozen, waterfalls, rivers, creeks, etc), and mountains. Lots of mountains. The walk is supposed to be three hours round trip, but we were in a bit of a hurry and made it in two.
The lake itself isn’t quite as gorgeous as some of the other water around—the sedimentation in the water gives it a murky color, but off in the distance, we could see the Hooker Glacier and a few small icebergs, and with the mountains behind it was just gorgeous!
And the sunshine on the peaks as we were going back…now that was something worth soaking in! Goodbye, Mount Cook:
In all, that was probably the second most spectacular scenery we saw on the trip. The most spectacular came much later on, which, hopefully, I can share with you soon. We’ll see!