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Mount Cook Village

Vaibhav Annam
We went on a beautiful trail called the Hooker Valley trail. It is a 10-km 3-hour return tramp. The walk takes one past alpine streams and glaciers in the shadow of Aoraki or Mount Cook. The majestic mountain (highest peak of NZ at 3,724 metres) is almost always covered in snow. The landscape throughout the route is breath-taking. After completing the trail, we headed to Wanaka.
Mithila Holla
The resplendent drive from Queenstown to Mt Cook is unforgettable. The scenery keeps changing every few minutes. This is really what sets New Zealand apart from the rest of the countries that I have travelled to. The country is blessed with many natural wonders such as volcanic mountains, snowy Southern Alps, fjords, lakes, glow-worm caves and stunning beaches. Every time you move from one town to another, there is so much more to explore and so many new things to do.We encountered a funny situation where a flock of hundreds of sheep caused a traffic jam for nearly 15-20 minutes. It was amazing to see these cute looking sheep scampering on the road with a don't care attitude. We reached Mt Cook village at noon and checked into the Mt Cook Backpacker lodge located in the spectacular Aoraki Mount Cook National Park overlooking the stunning Alps.Soon after lunch, we headed out for a walk at the Hooker Valley track. This is one of the best day walks that takes about 3-4 hours (return). The walking track starts near the Hermitage Hotel, heads up the Hooker Valley and crosses three swing bridges to the Stocking Stream and the terminus of the Hooker Glacier. Once you cross the first swing bridge, the view of Mt Cook dominates the track and you can also see a lot of icebergs floating on the Hooker river. It was extremely windy and cold during the walk, but we fed off from the stunning landscapes.