Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Zealand: Mt. Cook

Our last major stop on our South Island adventure was Mt. Cook National Park.  We splurged and rented a chalet at the famous Hermitage hotel so we could enjoy the beautiful surroundings at our own pace.  Mt. Cook was the highlight of our trip.  Not only was the scenery absolutely stunning, but we were able to do three incredible day hikes that we all really enjoyed.  These pictures are beautiful and do some justice but the real deal is so much more beautiful.  

We arrived late afternoon and decided to do a quick hike up to Kea Point to view the Mueller glacier.  The weather was perfect for hiking, pants and a light coat, sun shinning and Adi in her backpack, pure bliss.  Soon after we departed the winds picked up and the clouds blew in. We were able to enjoy the view of the glaciers for a few minutes before hightailing it back to the car before the rain started.  All in all, a great hike, we were cold but happy when we made it back to our room.

The next morning, the clouds had yet to clear and it was cold!  We decided to bundle up and take off on the famous Hooker Valley Hike.  Adi was decked out in her cutest winter gear, complete with boots and fleece lined pants, we were determined to not freeze.

Cuteness overload! 

Once we got moving, this hike was phenomenal!  We crossed two swinging bridges and watched as the clouds lifted and Mt. Cook presented herself.  It was a magical morning.

Hooker Vallet and Mt. Cook in the distance

Before turning back, we stopped for a snack and some playtime for Adi, who was a trooper in the backpack for the 3.5 hour hike.  How many 21 month olds get to do this?  Seriously, this kid is lucky!

Adi enjoyed the hike so much that she took her nap in the backpack, which gave Eric and I a rare opportunity to have a "date" lunch of ham sandwiches and chips.  She slept like that for a good 30 minutes.
After lunch, we headed for the Tasmin Glacier.  The sun had come out and it was nice and warm.  A steep hike up to the viewpoint and we were amazed at the size of the retreating glacier in the distance.
There is a small boat on the lake..that's how big the scale of the glacier is
Our happy little hiker
The drive in and out of Mt. Cook is amazing, along an almost neon blue glacial lake.  Gorgeous!

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