A day in the mountains

MountcookroadFrom our hostel we drove across to Mount Cook. We’d been expecting to see snow-capped mountains, as we’d had a peek of them on our drive yesterday. But we hadn’t expected to get this view – a stunning blue lake, a cloudless sky, and in the distance Mount Cook dropping down to lake level. The girls hadn’t been keen to sightsee today, but when we stopped for a photo, they both piled out of the car and ran down to the lake shore, and spent the rest of the day running around at every opportunity – must be mountain air!


The closer we drove, the more magnificent the views became. The weather forecast had been for a dreary, overcast day (exactly the weather wished on us by our ‘friend’ Caroline) but like so many forecasts it was wrong. And the air was warm, without being hot. It was the kind of weather that makes you feel as if you’d like to emigrate tomorrow!

We drove to the town of Mount Cook, and walked through the Hermitage Hotel. According to the brochure it’s “the most famous hotel in New Zealand“, which I can’t comment on, but I can report that its got very nice toilets! We decided to blow our luxury money on a cup of coffee in the town’s coffee shop, which overlooked the mountains and the glaciers, through a huge window.


And then it was time for a walk – along a trail, across a very bouncy suspension bridge, and to a viewpoint overlooking the foot of a glacier. In winter the landscape must surely be completely covered in snow, but it seems more dramatic in summer, as you can see the huge stream flowing from the glacier melt-water, and the walls of ice slipping down the rock slopes on the mountains. Although it was windy and in the mountains, it wasn’t cold, so it was real t-shirt weather. This is an area of New Zealand that we’d not visited before, and the bright blue lakes made it evocative of our trip in Canada – although we didn’t get the crystal clear air there, because of rain and the forest fires. We’ve definitely seen things today that we’ll remember for a very long time.