On February 11th and 12th, we went to Aoraki Mount Cook.
The first day, we went for a 1-hour return walk to see the Tasman Glacier and the Blue Lakes.
The Tasman Glacier was not really impressive because it was far from us and melted a lot. Therefore, it was nice, but nothing more.
The Blue Lakes are… green! In the mid-1800s when the Blue Lakes were named, they were fed by turquoise glacial meltwater filtering through the moraine. The icy blue water was a popular swimming spot in summer and skating rink in winter. Today, the Tasman Glacier has shrunk in length and height, and water no longer flows from the glacier into the Blue Lakes. The warmer rainwater that now feeds the lakes supports green algae, making the Blue Lakes green.
Then, we went to the campsite where we planned to spend the night, which is the departure point of many walks.
When we arrived, we did the Kea Point Track, another 1h/1h30 return walk, where the view was very nice, with a scenery worthy of the Lord of the Rings.
The next day, we parked the car on the daily car park, and we left for a 7-hour return walk: the Mueller Hut Track. The least we can say is that we did not expect it to be so hard… The first part of the walk consisted in not very regular stairs. We arrived at ‘Sealy Tarns’. The view is gorgeous all the way around, but our legs are suffering.
The second part of the walk consisted in climbing a rock fall pretty abrupt and then jumb from a big rock to another big rock, to finally reach the hut. Also hard, because it was slippery and we did not have anything to hook on to help ourselves.
After that, we arrived at the hut, where you can spend the night (for 36$). We sat for a while, looked at the view around us, looked at the Mount Cook view, the snow in which we lied down just to see how it feels…
Then, we began the return walk. Also very hard because it was really slippery, and our legs hurt and were weak. The return was a lot quicker but painful!
Back to our car, we drove for an hour to go to a free campsite, where we had a great night sleep)!
After that, during 2 or 3 days, we walked as if we were 150 years old.