Mount Cook, New Zealand

Sunday, April 15, 2018


After a night in Twizel, we headed up to Mount Cook Village, about a 45 minute drive. It was a little cloudy, but quite beautiful.


On arrival, we stopped at the visitor center and decided to do the Hooker Valley Trail.  Picnic supplies were a bit limited, but the Hermitage Hotel had a little gift shop that had some bread and cheese, so we picked some up and headed out to the trail head.  It was really too bad that we weren’t able to book earlier and get a family room in Mount Cook Village, it would have been an amazing place to stay.


The start of the hike was through grassland and scrubby trees.  We were surprised by how flat the hike was.  It probably wasn’t more than 100m elevation gain.


After a short walk, we arrived at Mueller Lake.  The bridges we had to cross were quite cool, if a little scary.  They were a bit like the Indiana Jones rope bridge, and there were big signs warning that they had a weight limit of 20 people.  The first bridge was close to this limit, and we had visions of ending up swinging across to the other side, but fortunately we made it across all three bridges and back without incident.


The trail then continued along the very rocky and cold looking Hooker River.  The entire walk, I was somewhat fascinated with the various rock formations.


The boys had a lot of fun hanging out with each other and tested our limits on how far ahead of us they could walk.  For the most part they have been getting along with each other, which has made traveling much easier.


When the boys got hungry, we broke out the bread and cheese.  It was a big block and we forgot our knife, so we simply broke off chunks and wrapped the bread around it.  Since it was sprinkling a bit, we just ate as we walked.


After about an hour and a half, we arrived at Hooker Lake.  By this time, it was sprinkling fairly heavily, so we let the boys skip a few rocks and enjoy the destination, then we decided to head back.


The boys did really well until about halfway back, then they started to get a bit tired.  With the rain, nobody wanted to sit in the mud or just stand around, so they pushed through it and we made it back without being too soaked.  We have been really pleased with the kids North Face Chimborazo 3-in-1 jackets!  They are warm, they are waterproof, and the kids can decide whether they want one layer or two.  I wish my supposedly waterproof jacket worked as well as theirs.  I am tempted to get a new one like theirs.


After the hike, we headed down to Omarama.  Lake Pukaki was beautiful to drive along.  Fortunately, we were able to check out of our cabin early and rebook into a 2 bedroom apartment, Sierra Motel, a little further south.  Having the extra space was nice. Our view of the mountains from the kitchen table was fabulous.  It turned out to be a very good decision.

We went to the grocery store and bought some hamburgers to cook in the apartment.  They were quite good and we were able to spend a nice evening journaling, watching a little TV, and catching up on blog posts.  🙂

Our next destination is Oamaru and Dunedin.

Keep reading our travel blog for more posts from our Gap Year!

Here are some more posts from this trip to New Zealand:

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