Top of the world!

After Kaikoura I went to pick up Kelsey again. She had spent her time at a farm in the southern part of the island, doing some work there. I stayed with her there during her last two days, pretty much watching other people do work and realizing I really didn’t want to do any work on a farm. It’s not even the work that bothered me, but you had to get up so early…

Our plan was to go to the North Island after this, and that’s what we were going to do. However, that was also still several days of driving, so we’d planned on an interesting stop on the way. Mount Cook, the highest mountain of New Zealand.

Lake Pukaki

Mount Cook is located pretty much in the middle of the island, and is part of the Southern Alps that I’d traveled through a couple of times now. To reach it however you don’t actually have to go into the alps, but instead there’s a nice road leading there that goes along Lake Pukaki while offering a first view of the mountain.

Upon our arrival after a long day of driving we went to one of the campsites, and explored some of the paths around there. This was pretty nice, and the paths had some interesting information concerning the history of the region as far as it concerned people climbing Mount Cook.

Glacier near Mount Cook

The next day started out cloudy, not exactly what you want when you wish to view a mountain. So, in the morning we went into the township where we explored the Sir Edmund Hillary Center. As the first person to climb to the top of Mount Everest he is probably the second best-known person from New Zealand. After Peter Jackson…

Mount Cook

So, we explored this center dedicated to his exploits for a while until we decided to go outside again. According to the weather predictions it was supposed to clear up in a couple of hours, which meant we could do a couple of the tracks that should give us a good view and hope for the best. Walking around we saw some beautiful sights, but it was still a long time before the clouds broke apart. When that happened though we were in a beautiful location with a good view of the mountain. And that wonderful view was totally worth the trip.

There isn’t really more to say about this visit. After enjoying the sight for a while longer we eventually got back into the car to start driving in the direction of Picton again. There we would take the ferry to Wellington and so enter the North Island. But the North Island will be discussed in future posts, so for now just enjoy the photos of Mount Cook and surroundings below.