NZ South Island – Lake Tekapo/Mt Cook

Hello everyone. It was an early morning wake up this morning because the mighty Eagles were playing at 6am. It was a great start to the morning with another victory. We toasted up some bagels and had cream cheese and strawberry jam on them (which we discovered in Wanaka) which were delicious with a cup of tea.

After that we got dressed into our hiking gear and set off in the car. In what felt like many hours (actually 1.5 hours) we arrived at the base of Mt Cook village to embark on our activity for the day – The Hooker Valley Track.

As we got out of the car we very quickly realised that it was freezing cold and that we were not dressed appropriately. Ronnie was wearing shorts and it was 0 degrees Celsius. We were determined to soldier on. The Hooker Valley track is a total of 10 kilometres. When we arrived the clouds were low and grey. It was also sprinkling with rain.

We walked the first few kilometres which warmed us up a little bit but it was only temporary. The track was very well maintained. It is mostly gravel walkways with the occasional boardwalk. We could tell there were mountains around us as we could see them going up, but visibility was basically nil.

There are three suspension bridges that are on this track. Suspension bridges are always a little bit scary because they are high and they sway and bounce. They went over a very nice turquoise river though which balanced the fear with beauty.

We eventually made it to the 5 kilometres halfway point. This is where the reward was. We were met with what is supposed to be views of the highest peak in NZ Mt Cook. However, we were met with a nice lake with little icebergs in it and thick grey cloud. It was still nice so we weren’t too upset, just a little underwhelmed. We had brought our lunch to eat here. A cheese an onion sandwich (weird! And not nice), some sweet chilli chips and a cookie time cookie. The chips and cookie was delicious.

It was at this moment just after lunch that the heavens parted. The cloud started rapidly dissipating and we were rewarded with one of the most beautiful views we have ever seen. Mount Cook emerged from the clouds along with the surrounding mountains.

It was one of them moments that leaves you speechless. Just absolutely beautiful. None of the pictures we post here will do it justice. After many minutes of glaring at the mountains we had to begin the trek back. We would walk a few steps and then turn around for another look because it was just so special – how could we walk away from something like that?

Eventually we made the trek back – much nicer views this time. The sun was out and we couldn’t stop smiling. What a time. It made the 5kms walk back to the car a breeze. We got back in the car and made the 1.5 hour drive back to Tekapo. We stopped at a nice spot for a view at lake Pukaki for some very nice views and quick photo stop.

We got back to Tekapo and grabbed some stuff from the Four Square for dinner tonight and then ducked over for another photo opportunity at a place that is very popular for this – The Church of the Good Shepherd. It is a little church that sits on the lake and looks beautiful in the setting. There was also a doggy statue here that Aimee wanted to get a picture with.

We decided to eat in and have a rest for the rest of the night. We made tacos, watched episodes of Jeopardy and got caught up on our blog posts. We don’t usually have much time for rest when we are travelling so we took the opportunity and we are glad we have.

Fuel – $74
Coffee – $5
Groceries – $35
Total – $114

Much love,
Ronnie & Aimee.

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