I departed Queenstown early in the hope to avoid the traffic, alas the traffic into and out of Queenstown in the morning is quite bad, only a single lane road in and out it seems! I was soon on the open road and headed towards a town called Cromwell in beautiful sunshine. After Cromwell came the Lindis pass and it was also lovely here.
Then as I started to get to a town called Omarama, the fog started to come in and get thick. I stopped in the next town of Twizel, to grab some lunch and soak in the thick misty fog, resigned to the fact my room with a view of Mt Cook was unlikely to have much of a view. The most interesting fact about Twizel is it has two supermarkets of the same chain within 100 metres of each other. I remember Exmouth had two IGA’s owned by the same guy. Its one way to gain a monopoly!
I turned of the road towards the Mt Cook/Aoraki village. Just about every sign I’ve seen uses both the english and Maori names. As I drove along the shores of lake Pukaki, I could see a glow in the distance, sunshine was penetrating through the clouds and that gave me hope. Sure enought the clouds and fog cleared and there was Aoraki in clear view.
As I got closer and closer all I want to do was check in and see the view from my room. Rooms in the Hermitage are not that excessive, my room was a relative bargain at $160 for the night. Sure not my usual standard of forking out $30 a night, but no where was that cheap in NZ and for the views, this room is a bargain.
I spent the afternoon visiting the various valleys including a visit to the Tasman glacier. The glacier has like most others receded a fair bit lately. The Glacier is covered in dirt thats come from landslides and carving the valley out, further up its all ice.
Alas there is not much left of my trip in NZ. If the weather is fine I might stop at a few places on the way back to Christchurch, or head back to Christchurch for lunch and maybe a museum. I’ll leave with another photo of Mt Cook/Aoraki.