Perhaps my favourite mountain, she stands high amongst the others and surrounded by beauty.
There are many places to see Mount Cook from. As she is the nations tallest mountain, she is quite visible, however, the closer you get, the better she looks. The mountains of the southern alps surrounding her just add to the beauty of that whole area of New Zealand.
Not only is this view amazing at any time of day, but you can also stay in your campervan at the base of the shore of Lake Pukaki for free.
The long drop toilets are OK-ish (we were there in October so they would likely be bad in Summer) and there is quite a bit of space to park. But it does fill up fast, so you need to get there early. At least then you can see the amazing sunset.
If you drive back along the shore (toward Tekapo) there are a few great areas to pull over for a beautiful and perfectly composed sunrise.
Going along the edge of Lake Pukaki to continue your drive to Mount Cook, there are many places to pull over for photo opportunities.
There are many walks in the area, the walk to Hooker Glacier is most definitely the easiest of the walks as it is fairly flat and about 4 hours. All the views along the walk make it worth it.
One of the harder walks and might I say it is a killer! Is the walk to Sealy Tarns or Mueller Hutt.
We were aiming for Sealy Tarns, but the fact that it is all uphill and about 90% stairs, made me give up after about 2 hours and sit on a large boulder and enjoy watching the clouds roll around the mountains. Jacob continued on a little bit further but also found the view too mesmerizing to always have your back to it whilst getting a major leg work out.
I was too out of breath to take a photo of all the steps, but trust me, there are too many!
At the base of all these amazing walks is the DOC White Horse Hill campsite. With Mount Sealy and Mount Sefton looming over you whilst you sleep you are really amoungst the mountains.
We were lucky enough that we were there at the perfect time to see the milky way over Mount Sealy at 11pm and clear skies!
There are many gems of the South Island. This is one of them.
See more panoramic photos of the South Island.
Keep an eye out for more posts coming up about the beauty of New Zealand!