Mt Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand, is a must see location for anyone visiting the south island and will not fail to amaze you with its sheer size and beauty.

We set off toward Mt Cook from Lake Tekapo on the State Highway 80 and it wasn’t long til we hit the beginning of the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. The winding road led us through the mountain plains dusted in snow and past Lake Pukaki. Snowfall a few days prior had covered the National Park with beautiful white snow but consequently meant a few roads in Mt Cook Village had been closed. So it was here, at the Mount Cook Village we began our trek.  We couldn’t have picked a better day as there was not a single cloud in the sky and looking out over the horizon, Mt Cook beckoned us from afar.

The walk out to Mt Cook was as scenic as it was serene. Trudging through snow and over suspended bridges, with each corner we neared the final lookout point. As we walked around the final corner, Mt Cook opened up in all its glory above the lake (which was frozen solid when we were there). From the lookout point we wandered down to the edge of the lake and obviously had to walk out onto it and try a few belly slides on the frozen ice, I'd be lying if I said we didn't slip and fall multiple times. After soaking in the vista for a while we started the return trip home but not before witnessing an avalanche fall, high up on a mountain in the distance, instantly reminding us how small we were in the surrounding mountain-scape.

As we drove home the sun was setting over the mountain peaks around us, leaving a vibrant purple and orange staining the sky so we had to stop our trusty steed Brenda and watch the sunset over Lake Pukaki. 10/10 would recommend.

Jonathan Tan