17 March, 2015
I was excited to see blue sky when the sun came up. I considered exploring the Clay Cliffs of Omarama, but the location was a bit remote and there were no other cars in the carpark, so I decided to skip it. As I headed north toward Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, clouds obscured the mountains. Hoping they would clear, I drove in along Lake Pukaki. When the sun peeked out, it was an incredible turquoise. A natural glacier fed lake; it is now dammed for electric power.
My first stop in the park was Tasman Glacier View. Clouds were still shading much of the area and it was cold. There were a few small icebergs floating at the edge of Glacier Lake. The sun was just starting to come out as I drove over to Hooker Valley and I could see a tiny slice of glacier as I ate lunch in the car. And then the clouds suddenly shifted, and I could see a massive snow-capped mountain right in front of me! I put on my pack and headed out for the three-hour round trip hike to Hooker Lake; it was beautiful all the way and felt great to be hiking again.
Afterwards, I drove to Lake Tekapo (“tech-a-po”), where I had a nice dinner and spent the night.