Mt Cook to Alexandra

I woke to sunshine on the mountains this morning and was excited to go for a walk and show my sister some icebergs floating on a lake.

Early morning mountains

We had our breakfast and packed our gear in the car and found that the windscreen and back window were frozen over! However, my experience living in Germany has prepared me for this: pour cold water on the screen and all is well!

Frozen windscreen

We headed to the Information centre to see which walk would give us the best chance at icebergs, and found that it was the Hooker Valley walk. The lady told us it was about 3 hours return. The lady at our hotel had told us 2. In actual fact, it took us 4! And it’s not like we loitered….well, I took a few photos….

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Ela at the second swing bridge on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

As can be seen in the photos, the weather turned to gloom pretty well as soon as we set off. Fortunately, we didn’t get much snow – only a few flakes here and there.

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Ela on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Ela on the swingbridge on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Ela on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

There was an incredible number of icebergs floating in Hooker Lake. I couldn’t help myself, I had to go all the way to the beach and take some photos at ground level.

Icebergs floating in Hooker Lake on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Icebergs floating in Hooker Lake on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Icebergs floating in Hooker Lake on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Icebergs floating in Hooker Lake on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Icebergs floating in Hooker Lake on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

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On the way back, I had to photograph some of the vegetation. It was like a fairy-tale forest!

Flowers on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

The Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

The rainforest on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Ela on the Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Hooker Valley Walk near Mt Cook

Once we got back to civilisation, we had a nice hot soup at the Old Mountaineers Cafe (where we had dinner last night) to warm up and take a load off our poor sore feet. We were exhausted and sore from waist to toe!

And then I had to drive 3 hours….but we did have a few stops along the way for views. The first one was the Clay Cliffs near Omarama. We actually went bush and along gravel roads (don’t tell the rental company!) to get to them, but you could actually see them from the main road, though there was no viewing area set up. I just pulled over and took photos from there, too.

The Clay Cliffs near Omarama

The Clay Cliffs near Omarama

Then the hillsides at Lindis Pass Summit Lookout deserved a photo.

Views at Lindis Pass Summit Lookout

Views along route 8 between Omarama and Alexandra

Views along route 8 between Omarama and Alexandra

And some random stops along the way:

Views along route 8 between Omarama and Alexandra

Views near Clyde

Views along route 8 between Cromwell and Alexandra

Views along route 8 between Cromwell and Alexandra
As an aside: My next camera will have a viewfinder! When the sun shines, I cannot see anything but my reflection on the LCD screen. This means that I’m guessing at what I’m shooting and it’s not always what I intended.

We arrived at our accommodations outside Alexandra around 5.30pm and then went into town for dinner at a new restaurant called “Noshnoshswigs”. It’s a burger restaurant with 5 different burgers and some sides. They were excellent! I had a falafel burger and my sister had a pulled pork burger and we both loved our dinner. We needed the chips we had to order on the side, though!

We went for a little tour to Clyde to see if there really was historic stuff worth photographing, but I’m spoilt for old stones, I guess!

No free WiFi tonight, so no posting the blog. Oh well. There’s always tomorrow….or the next day.

A Slideshow of pictures from this day is here at Google+

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