by sam on 5th April 2017 4 comments
Boardwalk on the Hooker Valley
Beautiful early morning sunrise coffee on the deck of our house, then after driving the length of Lake Pukaki we arrived at Mount Cook Village to tramp (NZ word, not mine!) the 10km Hooker Valley track.
The walk is relatively flat (compared to other walks in the area at least!) and has a few swing bridges and supposed awesome views of the infamous Mount Cook. Mount Cook's Mauri name is Aoraki, meaning cloud piercer..... It so ends 2 out of 3 days with the peak out of sight (hence why we could see it on our descent into Christchurch airport the other day!)
Today it wasn't just just the peak out of sight, you literally could not even see any of it, at all, through the whole thing,not even a glimpse!!
What the hooker valley should look like with Mount Cook visible!
However, we could see other mountain bars and hanging glaciers, that had moved hugely as we passed on the way out and on the return leg. When it's quiet you can hear the cracking in the distance, despite them being a long way away.
We passed many waterfalls and crossed many fast moving glacial rivers and finally ended up over looking the Hooker glacier terminal face (where the glacier ends) in the lake. It was a long old trek but the views were stunning and if we could have seen Mount Cook for half of it too it would have been even better!!
Quick lunch at the Hermitage Hotel in Aoraki village, and then we picked up a coach to take us to our booked boat trip on the Tasman Glacier lake just the other side of the mountain range. This glacier is similar to the Hooker one, it ends in a lake but is in a sunnier position so large chunks of the terminal face sheer off and create icebergs in the lake, some as big as a house!
The lake looked really small and bergs did too when we arrived , but up close they were really big, and not one huge piece of ice either but millions of squashed together ice crystals the size of your fist.
100ft high, a mile wide Terminal wall
The ice in these bergs is blue to the naked eye for about 24 hours until it oxidises and then it becomes white in colour, so as the outer layer melts new blue ice is revealed. The ice is thought to be 300-600 years old, but is so pure you can eat it, as it always moving through the glacier.
The terminal face is over 100ft tall, we couldn't get closer on the boat than 400m as they know that an iceberg shelf "grows" out from the front of the face for about 200m under the water, but that can sheer off at any time and spring up out of the water as an enormous new iceberg.
Snow capped mountains
Back at the house we had spag bol for tea and an early night after a quick shop at the most expensive supermarket ever! Still no sign what so ever of the elusive Mount Cook, although the temp has dropped massively today so there is some snow appearing on the other mountains opposite out house which looks pretty!
Looks stunning, even with the cloud cover. What flavour are glaciers?
Love the cheese photo. Looks a bit chilly :-)
Lush pics xx
'Nothing-ness', Elissa says Claire. She says 'hello' to Arabella too!
It's a very cheese photo, taken by the boat driver, bit chilly there though.