We drove from Queenstown, through Wanaka, to Mount Cook Village. There were several reasons we wanted to visit Mount Cook Village, but my favorite was glacier hiking. Below is a list of the things we got ourselves into.
1. Lake Pukaki
You can’t miss Lake Pukaki on your drive to Mt. Cook Village. It spans quite a bit of the drive along the right side of the road and is absolutely beautiful!
2. Mt. Cook Village
There’s not much to do in the actual village, but we enjoyed some beautiful views!
3. Glacier Helihike
There’s something about hiking on a glacier that seems magical to me! We booked our tour to hike the Tasman Glacier with Southern Alps Guiding. Accidents can happen and I was very thankful we went with such an experienced guide! They provided all the gear we needed for the trip and drove us to the nearby airport. We originally thought we were going to fly in a helicopter to the glacier, but actually loaded onto a ski-plane! I was even more excited as I’ve never flown in a ski-plane before!
I had a window seat on the flight to the glacier and was able to capture a few birds eye view shots!
We took some time to get our snow shoes on our feet and get used to walking with them. Honestly, the hiking was more difficult than I had expected. There were parts that were steep and hard to get a good footing, but I enjoyed the adventure!
Avalanche!!!! Luckily we were far enough away to watch in amazement and little fear.
There were really neat ice formations all over the glacier area we hiked like the ones shown below.
I thought I would be freezing, but the hike and sun caused me to warm up a bit too much. I ended the hike with my winter coat unzipped and just my light gloves on.
4. Tasman Glacier View Track
In the afternoon after our glacier hiking, we decided to try the Tasman Glacier View Track. It wasn’t the most spectacular hike considering we had just hiked on the glacier, but it would be a nice alternative for anyone not wanting to fly to the actual glacier.
I was very excited to touch glacier water! The most upsetting part of this hike was a small sign that showed how much the glacier has melted in only a few short years. Climate change is real. What are you doing about it?
5. Hooker Valley Trail
This may have been my favorite hike of our entire trip. The Hooker Valley Trail isn’t too strenuous and has some pretty incredible views. The trail would’ve been better if it was a loop instead of just one path, but it ended at another incredible glacier so it was worth it!
There were 3 bridges throughout the trail that took us over the small river.
This was the view at the end of the trail!
Then we turned around and walked back to the parking lot, enjoying the views along the way.
There was a monument dedicated to all the lives that were lost in Mt. Cook National Park.
Our time spent in Mt. Cook Village was full of nature and adventure and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
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