Scenic delights of Aoraki Mount Cook

Mt Sefton and the Hooker Valley

Mt Sefton and the Hooker Valley

Ice cracks and crashes as an echo is sent through the Hooker Valley.

This is a pretty special way to celebrate the start of 2018 on New Years Day, walking the Hooker Valley track to Aoraki Mount Cook.

The drive out to Mount Cook National Park is beautiful with the roadside sharing the landscape with Lake Pukaki.

Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand

Then when I reached the start of the Hooker Valley track I was quickly surrounded by stunning mountains all around.

Hooker Valley Track

Hooker Valley Track

Hooker Valley Track

Hooker Valley Track

Mount Sefton, Hooker Valley

Mount Sefton, Hooker Valley

Hooker Valley

Hooker Valley

Waterfalls gush down the mountain range into the lakes and rivers below. Birds and cicadas sing through the bushes and trees along the track. I’m treated by Muller Glacier/Lake and multiple swing bridges and pearly rivers.

Glacial ice from the mountain range

Glacial ice from the mountain range

Hooker Valley Track

Hooker Valley Track

Aoraki Mount Cook - getting closer

Aoraki Mount Cook – getting closer

As I walk along I see the beautiful Sealy Mountain Range, Mount Sefton. As I reach the end of the track there are an array of rocks to sit and enjoy a snack as I marvel across the iceberg dotted Hooker Lake and look out to the giant Aoraki Mount Cook in-front of me.

Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook

Hooker Lake with Aoraki Mount Cook

Hooker Lake with Aoraki Mount Cook

icebergs in Hooker Lake

icebergs in Hooker Lake

Nice spot for a snack

Nice spot for a snack

Want to properly see my snack spot? Check out the video below to get a better feel for it.

This was one of those spots I really didn’t want to leave. It had such incredible awe-inspiring natural beauty.

One last look at Mount Cook

One last look at Mount Cook

Swing Bridges on the Hooker Valley track

Swing Bridges on the Hooker Valley track

More bridges

More bridges

Hooker Valley

Hooker Valley

Mount Sefton

Mount Sefton

Hooker Valley

Hooker Valley

The Hooker Valley track is a pretty easy 10km return track that takes about 3 hours, though it won’t feel like that with all the beautiful scenic views to enjoy. A lot of the path is a wooden boardwalk or smooth gravel, a family friendly path for everyone to enjoy.

Here’s a little video of the landscape as I walk back (sorry about the Audio)

This was a big highlight of my roadtrip, if not the best highlight. The snowy mountains are just so beautiful and the hike is amongst nature and feels so fresh and freeing. There is a Department of Conservation (DOC) campsite at the start of the track that I wished I’d stayed in, it looks pretty well equiped and to fall asleep and wake up to those views would be incredible.

As I left with the heat of the sun shining down on New Years day the scenic delights continued as Lake Pukaki came out in incredible blue colours.

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Me at Lake Pukaki

Me at Lake Pukaki

Even Lake Ohau was pretty stunning for my last night with a roof over my head. The rest of the trip would be camping!

Lake Ohau

Lake Ohau

Lake Ohau

Lake Ohau

I think this area will definitely feature on my wall at home when I get around to making some prints, the colours were pretty incredible!

If you’d like to know more about the Hooker Valley Track and campsite, check out the Doc webpage here: https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/canterbury/places/aoraki-mount-cook-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/hooker-valley-track/

 

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