Day 31: Mountains!
The Otago Peninsula has been good to us. All marine wildlife has shown itself to us, and sometimes even posed for the camera in way we didn’t think possible. The weather has been awful and great at times, and during the entire time we had fun, enjoyed the amazing scenery and loved being there.
It truly is a good place to be.
But, all good things must come to an end, and for us this meant we had to backtrack quite a bit, towards Twizel. After that, we turn left instead of going straight: to Mount Cook!
The Mount Cook / Aoraki Village basically consists of one thing: The Hermitage.
This is a large hotel, and they seem to be the sole owners of all the accommodation over there. The hostel, the restaurant, the motel and the suites, all run by the central hotel.
This also means it is not cheap in any way, as there is nothing to choose.
The Mount was quite reluctant to show itself today. With nearly 3800 metres it is the tallest mountain in NZ, and was summited by Sir Edmund Hillary somewhere in the late 1940’s. It also is cradled by the longest Glacier in NZ, The Tasman Glacier.
The mountain is tall enough to generate its own climate and clouds and has done so the full day, right until around 9:30pm, after which we had a brief glimpse at the peak.
The way to Mount Cook Village is through some very scenic landscape, alongside the glacial lake which flows of Tasman Glacier. This valley is about 55km long, and never ceased to amaze us with its beauty. Just, wow.
Our day was long, as we visited the Moeraki Boulders during the drive to Mount Cook. These are peculiar formations of rock, formed by what seems to be very specific settlement of rock. The end result are near perfect round shaped balls of rock, just lying on a very small piece of beach. Weird!
We convulsed the day by doing a small walk to the true Tasman Glacier Lake, and the now not so blue Blue Lakes. The first is very white, the latter are now greenish.