Cookin’ up some Glaciers

Aoraki /Mount Cook, New Zealand (map)

As we traveled inland from the coast we knew we wanted to check out Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand. Mount Cook sits at 12,316 ft and is one of the great peaks that makes up the Southern Alps mountain range, which extends across the entire length of the South Island. We were most excited because we had heard that in New Zealand there are a number of glaciers to see up close and personal.

We set out for a day of hiking and taking in the amazing views of the Tasman and Hooker glaciers. That night we found ourselves at what has probably been one of our favorite campsites in New Zealand. A free campsite right on the banks of Lake Pukaki, which I have to say is almost just as blue and beautiful as Lake Tekapo.

One of the things we love most about New Zealand and being able to explore it by camping is that the light pollution is practically nonexistent.  The stars at night are beaming and it is almost weird if you do not see the milky way in view. Definitely makes it easy for us to count our lucky stars each night 😉

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Loving the elevated Hooker Valley Track
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Dramatic views heading toward the valley
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The river water has an opaque color due to a high concentration of “rock-flour” or finely ground rock from the moving glacier
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One of the shelter huts along the way, AKA my future dream house 😉
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Looking on toward Tasman Glacier
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Dustin playing in icy water again, not the smartest kid on the block
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Hooker Glacier with Mount Cook in the distance
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Lake Pukaki campsite with views of Mount Cook
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Not a bad place to end a great day of hiking
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Dustin, the astronomer
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Picture doesn’t do the Milky Way justice (top left)

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