Friday 28th December – Saturday 29th December: Mount Cook
Following our amazing family Christmas in Queenstown we were headed up to Mount Cook. It just so happened that my parents were also headed there, so we would be able to spend an evening with them. Both me and John absolutely loved Mount Cook when we visited back in October and decided it was definitely a place we would like to return to.
So on Friday 28th December after saying goodbye to my sister (who currently lives in Sydney) we picked up our hire car and headed off to Mount Cook. We took the stunning Crown Range road (that I previously wrote about in my top 5 south island drives here) via Wanaka and stopped at other scenic places along the way, including Peter’s lookout alongside the gorgeous Lake Pukaki.
On arrival at Mount Cook we checked into our accommodation – a lovely motel room at the newly opened Aoraki Court motel. Last time we were here we stayed at the Hermitage hotel, but this is pretty pricey (you pay for the view!), but we actually preferred our motel room. The room was huge, really well decorated with great mountain views and a large spa bath and kitchenette – it was perfect! We met up with my parents and had a lovely evening meal at Old Mountaineers. Following this we took a drive up towards the start of the Hooker Valley walk. We parked up and walked the first part of this walk – to the first swing bridge. It was absolutely stunning and a really beautiful walk. We only saw a couple of people along the way and really felt like we had the place to ourselves. We watched the sunset, which looked beautiful setting on Mount Cook and amidst the surrounding scenery. We took some pics – including a precious group shot. It was really special to be able to share this with my parents and we felt really lucky to be there all together – definitely memories to cherish
The following morning my parents headed off to do the Glacier Explorers boat trip (which they loved!) – which we had done back in October, and we did the Kea Point walk. The views along the way were gorgeous, and we walked up to Kea Point and took some great photos. We met up with my mum and dad when they arrived back and had a nice lunch together. One final walk on the start of the Red Tarns track down towards the hooker river was great, and we then had to say our goodbyes. We always knew this was going to be difficult, as were saying goodbye not knowing how long it would be until we saw them again. Still, we had to do it, and with a very heavy heart we said goodbye and started on our journey to the next place we were staying. We were sad but felt so incredibly lucky to have had these experiences together!