Aoraki, or Mt Cook if you prefer, is the tallest piece of real estate in New Zealand so as we had a spare day in Queenstown…Yep you guessed it, road-trip! From Queenstown it’s about a seven hour drive through the central Otago region, known for it’s vineyards and where we stopped for lunch at (strangely) a nice little vineyard. Yes it’s long drive but you do get to see a lot of the south island as the landscape changes from farmland, barren rockscape then back to farmlands, then plains and forest until finally it’s the Hooker valley with Mt Cook looming at the end of it.
We walked the short distance to the start of the Hooker valley track which overlooks the proglacial lake at the base of the Mueller glacier, yes the water really is that light blue. As we walked up you could hear the boom of an avalanche on the mountain as ice and snow let go in the warmth of the afternoon sun, impressive. Historical note the Australian climber Freda Du Faur was the first woman to climb the mountain in 1910, interesting lady Freda.