Stacey Banfield

Christchurch Based Makeup Artist & Blogger

Hooker Valley Track – A Tick Off My NZ Bucket List

For a few years now I have wanted to tick this one off my list, but with my work load and just life in general it’s been hard to fit in all the adventures I have wanted to go on. But this Easter Weekend I finally did it! Due to working Wedding’s on Saturday, we decided to make it an early morning start on Easter Sunday 5:00am  to be exact! and what a day trip it was – probably one of the best I have ever had actually.

The drive from Christchurch to the Mt Cook National Park is a great trip, taking us just over 4 hours each way. From Geraldine right the way to the destination you are met with the most stunning picturesque views through the Mckenzie District, even a camera cannot capture its entire beauty especially as you pass through places like Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki.

We were so fortunate to have picked a day where the weather literally couldn’t have been better, considering this followed a week of rain and supposed cyclones. A clear bright blue sky and the sun in full force, we definitely couldn’t complain. Just after you finish passing Lake Pukaki, you are met with a right turn (which is clearly sign posted for Mt Cook), you then follow this road for approx 40minutes and what a beautiful drive it is.

Given it is Autumn here now, you are met with views of not only the icy blue Lake Pukaki, but the most amazing bright orange and yellow trees which line the lake in patches – oh and of course the infamous Mt Cook stands tall, as the main focal point for the backdrop of your drive.

Just before you hit the Mt Cook settlement there is another right turn onto Hooker Valley Road, this is your final stop if you are wanting to do the Hooker Valley and surrounding tracks. My best advice is to get there early, as the car park was full to the brim with hundreds of people when we arrived.

The track itself is user friendly to all, including the kids although it isn’t pram friendly so if theyare old enough to walk that’s great if not I suggest having a pack of some sort with you. The track that we took which leads you to the glacier lake takes about 1.5hrs one way, but it is the most amazing walk I have ever done. On your walk you experience the most beautiful views, not only of the snow capped mountains but of the surrounding terrain, lakes and river.

If you love yourself a good photo or ten, head off track like we did and climb up some of the shingle slopes. Just ensure you are wearing good footwear, as it can be a little slippery with the loose rocks but it’s so worth it for the views! Along your walk you will come across three epic swing bridges that sit atop the raging river below, these also make for a great photo op.

Between the last two bridges you come to a boardwalk, it almost looks as if it leads you directly to the base of Mt Cook from afar again,this is a popular spot for the ultimate Instagram pic, I mean it’s hard to resist when the back drop is nothing short of perfect.

 

Then you come to your final pit stop, Hooker Lake which is one of the coolest lakes I have ever seen, that may be because it also features a Glacier!! Yup that’s right a glacier, it’s pretty incredible really to sit on the banks and watch as the broken parts of ice slowly melt away. It doesn’t sound very intriguing to sit there and literally watch ice melt, but trust me it is one of the most tranquil spots to find yourself in. It’s hard not to be caught up in the beauty that surrounds you, so make sure you take it all in!

There you have it, although I thought I would rather be in Coachella Valley- with my Sister in Palm Springs, I found myself in Hooker Valley and I was absolutely in love with what stood around me (and of course beside me )

– Let me know if you check out Hooker Valley Track for yourself, I would love to hear your thoughts too! Stay tuned for more of my adventures around the South Island and New Zealand but just remember “Not all those who wander are lost”

 

 

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