On the Road to Mount Cook (Aoraki if You Want to Get Technical)

We awoke to a long white cloud sitting low in front of the mountains surrounding Lake McGregor. With little to no wind, it was a very pleasant morning to sit by the van with a cuppa before zipping off to our next stop.

long-white-cloud
You know what they say, New Zealand is the Land of the Long White Cloud.
dog-shit
As I knelt down to take this photo, I stepped in dog shit.

Next stop, Aoraki National Park, where 3,724m of earths crust protrudes from below.

Welcome to Mount Cook.

mountcook1

You’ve probably seen photos of the winding road leading to the snow-capped peak of Mount Cook, and Lake Pukaki below. But here are a few more.

mount-cook-and-lake-pukaki

mount-cook-lookout

lakepukaki
Deadset. Am I upside down right now? I guess you’ll never know.

Arriving at White Horse Hill, we were met with hundreds of other camper-vanning travellers, tourists and families. This is not just a campsite, but also the parking lot to begin one of New Zealand’s most famous hikes.

ready-to-hike

while-horse-campsite

white-horse-campsite2

Popping on a pair of shorts, slapping on some sunscreen and a pair of shoes to walk in (not thongs this time), we set off to begin the famous Hooker Valley Track.

Camping at White Horse Hill Campground:

  • Very clean toilets.
  • Fresh water to refill the water tanks and brush your teeth.
  • Large undercover cooking area with power-points and benches to cook on.
  • Sand flies were hardly present here.
  • It’s pretty much a carpark, but the scenery is unreal, so I give this spot a strong 8/10.

How long does it take to get there:

If you’re travelling from Lake Tekapo, it should take about 1.5hrs to get to Twizel, where we re-fuelled the van and re-stocked the fridge, and about 1hr to get from Twizel to Mount Cook.

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