22.07.14 – After one night stay at Lake Tekapo, it’s time to head to Mount Cook. Enroute to Mount Cook would be the scenic drive from Lake Tekapo to Lake Pukaki which follows State Highway 8 through the heart of the Mackenzie Basin. It takes around 30 to 40 minutes drive to Lake Pukaki.
Lake Pukaki is a glacial lake that has become famous for its milky blue color and as the foreground to Mount Cook. You have to catch the lake on a sunny day, though, to get to see its mesmerizing blue color.
From Lake Pukaki is another 30 minutes drive up to Mount Cook Village where we will stay the night.
At 3,753 metres Aoraki/Mt Cook is New Zealand’s highest mountain. It towers above a splendid cast of massive snow-clad peaks that make up the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.
After checking in we head over for a short hike through the Hooker Valley. We chose the Kea Point track as it was the shortest and the sun is going to set soon. At the end of the trail, there is a platform where you can stand and enjoy views of Mount Sefton (3,157 m / 10,358 ft) in the northwest and of Mueller Lake and Mount Cook (3,754 m / 12,316 ft) in the northeast.
It was a short but sweet walk. As the boardwalks were almost covered by snow, we made a wrong turn at one point and ended up lost. Lucky we made it out in time before the sky totally turns dark. Time to head to Mountaineers Cafe for our well deserved dinner.
Accommodation: Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Lodge
Address: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park 107 Bowen Dr, Aoraki Mount Cook 7946, New Zealand
Price Per Night: NZD 150 per night