New Zealand Road Trip: Mount Cook National Park Part 1

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Visiting Mount Cook National Park has been on my bucket list for a while now, thanks to the amazing photos knocking around on social media! After flying into Queenstown, we drove for around two and a half hours to the Glentanner Park Center – our home for two nights, giving us three days to explore the area. We stayed in one of the private cabins, which had it’s own little kitchenette, meaning that we could save a little money by cooking our own meals (as the options for eating out in the area were pretty poor!). For the first two days, the weather was AWFUL. Rain, snow and low lying cloud meant that I couldn’t actually see Mount Cook, or any mountains for that matter. If anyone follows me on insta, you might have seen my disappointment on my stories !! Lucky for me, the hubs is a pretty positive person. He got me out of my weather-induced funk, and we went out anyway!

Our first stop was Lake Tekapo, which was around an hour’s drive from the Glentanner center. Even in the rain, the lake was a beautiful shade of blue. One of the reasons we visited New Zealand in the spring was to see the lupins (the fact I was excited about a flower, coupled with my new appreciation for how practical a good fleece is, has lead me to the realisation that it’s happened. I’ve turned into an old lady). The lupins were just starting to bloom round the lake, and served as little pops of colour amongst the drizzle. Even though we couldn’t see the mountains, Tekapo was gorgeous and I’m so glad we went.

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On our second morning in Mount Cook NP, we woke up and realised we couldn’t hear the rain anymore! Then we opened the curtains, and realised that the reason we couldn’t hear rain, was that it had turned into snow!! What do you do when it’s snowing and you can’t see anything? 1) Play in the snow…. because…. SNOW!, and then 2) find the nearest hot tub! We drove around 45 minutes out of Mount Cook NP to the town of Omarama, and pulled up at the hot pools. Here, you get an hour and a half in a private hot tub, along with your own little cabin to change in. There are also tubs with saunas, which are more expensive and (I think) have a nicer view over the lake. It was so relaxing to soakΒ  in the hot water with the snow and rain falling around us! Although, the tubs were basically big metal pots, with a furnace heating the water… leaving us feeling a tad lobster-esque!!

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That evening, when we were back at the cabin eating dinner, we noticed the clouds gradually starting to lift! We stepped outside and could finally see the beautiful mountains surrounding our cabin, that we had no idea were there! Overnight, the clouds continued to clear and our final morning in Mount Cook was absolutely magical – so magical, it deserves it’s own blog post, which will be coming up next!

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Watch the video diary of our New Zealand Road Trip here:

 


The New Zealand Blog Series (unlinked posts are coming soon!):

  • Mount Cook National Park Part 1
  • Mount Cook National Park Part 2
  • Lake Wanaka and Hiking Roys Peak
  • Mount Aspiring National Park
  • Fjordland National Park and Milford Sound
  • Queenstown and Glenorchy

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