When the views you get are as postcard-worthy as these, you'd get trigger happy. Well, at least I did.
The route up to the Mt John Observatory was kind of a winding road; it's NZD$5 entry per vehicle, really affordable for the view you get, and if you need a quick toilet break. Oh those lupins.
A few things to do when you're at Aoraki:
1) Chill at any corner of a lake. In this case, we picked Lake Pukaki.
2) Pick a trek route around Mt Cook. We tried out Hooker Valley Track (3 hours return). It's one of the most popular walks in the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, and we can definitely see why (literally). The view's amazing. We did take longer than 3 hours though; I'm not the most sporty person. But there're 3 swingbridges that you will pass by if you complete the entire track. The best time to go - plan your time so you get to catch a glimpse of the sun setting amongst the mountains, maybe on your way back (the sun tends to set real late during summer).
And when you're done with your exercise for the day, reward yourself with some steak from a restaurant in the Mt Cook Village. We watched the sun set through the glass window from the Old Mountaineers' Restaurant (seemed like one of the few places that was still in operation post 9pm). Would I do it again? Yes fer sure, with more comfortable shoes next time.
Minolta SRT-101 | Kodak Color Plus 200 + Tudor XLX 200 (Expired)