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Mount Cook (Aoraki)

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 16 January 2011 | Views [334]

Mount Cook

After giving our car a propper run in (the wonder that is a Nissan Sunny!) we arrived at Mount Cook. Our route took us past the brilliantly blue lakes of Tekapo and Pukaki.  The first day was a bit of a wash out so we headed to the Edmund Hillary museum which was worth a visit.  Andy didn’t even know who he was....much to learn!  Day two turned out to be a stunner so we headed up the Hooker Valley on a good half day hike.  This was definately worth the trek with swing bridges and glaciers gallore.  Stunning views of course!

Upon gettting back to the car we thought that after four hours of walking maybe we’d do a bit more, so headed towards a hike called the Sealy Tarns (which turned out to be two little ponds). But intrigued by the views we set off on the climb up the mountain side.  And by climb I mean scrambling up what was the most steep and rock strewn path I’ve dealt with.  After 700 meters of climbing, much grumbling, and both of us close to passing out with sun stroke we reached the top.   Another hour up it turns out that there’s the Mueller Hut where you can stay overnight, but alas we hadn’t planned ahead (something that the people heading down the path said was the most amazing place they’d ever stayed); next time maybe...

After seeing Mount Cook and the surrounding scenery up close we decided it was definitely beer o’clock so set off back towards civilisation, or as close as it got this remote.  One point of note for New Zealand; the beer is really good (by which I mean lager), better than most in the UK I’d say – ales excluded of course.  To accompany this great beer the food seems to evolve entirely around steak, burgers and salmon.  Not bad at all!  For anyone searching for the best chicken burger known to man try the Mountaineers Cafe; stuffing, cranberries and roast chicken in a burger – words don’t do it justice! 

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