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Monday, May 01, 2017

New Zealand day 3: Hooker valley track in Mt. Cook

Hooker valley track is one of the popular hiking route in Mt. Cook. With about 3 hours of return, it was longer than Tasman valley path. My family decided to spend time in the village while I proceeded to walk to Hooker valley in the afternoon. 

Mueller lake
The weather had considerably improved in the afternoon providing some views of the surrounding mountains. In order to save time, I drove till the Hooker valley campground and started walking. Good point about New Zealand is the way the tourism infrastructure is handled. One of the best in the world, I would say. Ample parking places, clear sign boards, excellent infrastructure and above all supportive people. 

Walking on Hooker valley track
Within 10 minutes of walking, I was at the Mueller lake lookout which provided great views of the glacial lake. 

Mueller lake and the first swing bridge
And then I had to cross the first of the three swing bridges. It was built over Hooker river flowing out of the lake. Even though I have crossed these kind of bridges several times, it gives me a great feeling each time I cross a new one!!

Hooker valley track

The path after the swing bridge went next to the lake. If the weather was clear, I should have seen snow clad mountains along the route. Now I was only getting a glimpse of it!!

Track passing next to Mueller lake 
The second swing bridge appeared and this was on the Hooker river flowing into Mueller lake. 

Second swing bridge
It was here I was surprised the effort being put in to maintain the track. Amazing!!


Hooker river had to be crossed again and within few minutes I was looking at the Hooker lake and the glacier walls. It had taken in 1.5 hours.

The third swing bridge
While the upper reaches of Tasman and Hooker glacier are snow covered, the lower glacier is rocky due to ablation and hence they looked brownish.

Hooker lake

Glacier wall
Walking back was uneventful and I made a short detour to Alpine memorial, the mountaineers who died in the Mt. Cook National Park over the years.

Alpine memorial

6 comments:

TeamG square said...

Beautiful

Vaisakhi said...

Stunning clicks! :)

AJEYA RAO said...

Beautiful. However, even when I was doing this trek, it was cloudy and began to pour.

Aravind GJ said...

Dhiraj,
Thanks.

Vaisakhi,
Thanks.

Ajeya,
Thanks. The weather seems to always play hide and seek in New Zealand!!

Vineeta Yashswi said...

Wow... this is amazing...

Aravind GJ said...

Vineeta,
Thanks for your comment.