Posted by: kiwitravelandtours | July 13, 2010

New Zealand’s Mount Cook/Aoraki

I haven’t been slack in my blogging, just away with tour groups and about to disappear into the cold, crisp South Island with another one. As I sat infront of a roaring log fire in the Mountaineer’s cafe a few weeks back, and looked out on one of the most glorious views in the world, I took the time to contemplate that Mt Cook or Aoraki(Sky Piercer) seemed a bit lonely that day. True, I had dropped off 24 enthusiastic trampers at several of the walks/hikes before retiring to the cafe, and equally true that I was later joined by a lovely group of young travellers keen to share their argo trip to the Tasman Glacier with me. However, the truth is that many tours treat Aoraki as just a photo opportunity -a quick ‘snap’ on the way to other destinations.  And that’s a shame. If time allows we always try to include at least one night on the mountain for our groups. Not only is there a variety of walks catering for all fitness levels but there are over 300 species of plants to be found, including the famed Mount Cook lily – the largest buttercup in the world. Look out as well for the birdlife – but beware leaving your pack near keas (mountain parrots) -they steal anything and everything! There are two glaciers, Hooker and Tasman, and the effects of global warming has equipped them with their own terminal lakes, and warmer weather sees Tasman, especially, calving up a storm.  These lakes also provide unique opportunities to kayak or boat amongst the ‘icebergs’.  If you’re planning a trip downunder, make some time to enjoy Mt Cook -you won’t regret it. Here’s a few of my group enjoying their tramp along the Sealy Tarns Track.


The Sealy Tarns Track

Not even winter yet!


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