During our 9-day road trip to New Zealand’s South Island, we spent 2 nights at Lake Tekapo. On our way to Tekapo, we stopped at Mt. Cook for one of the best excursions I have ever done! Today I will share with you my Mt. Cook – New Zealand Guide in the hope that you can find it useful to organise your own trip.
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is home to the highest mountains and the longest glaciers of New Zealand.
Besides the beautiful mountains and all the tracks and climbing you can do, glaciers are another top attraction.
Aoraki/Mt Cook Village is situated beside scenic Lake Pukaki and provides a comfortable base for alpine activities. Far from city lights, the stargazing here is magnificent: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park forms the majority of New Zealand’s only International Dark Sky Reserve.
At 27 kilometres in length, the mighty Tasman Glacier is amazing. Surreal, milky lakes are a feature of the park – suspended, glacier-ground rock sediment makes the water opaque.
We did an excursion on speed boats to explore the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake and icebergs up close
Beautiful icebergs of every shape and size periodically tear away from the glacier allowing you to touch and taste the 300-500-year-old glacial crystals.
We did the excursion with Glacier Explorers and we absolutely LOVED it.
You depart from The Hermitage Hotel, in the Aoraki Mount Cook Village. They pick you up by bus and take you to the beginning of a short track that passes through breathtaking scenery.
Then you board speed boats and get to see icebergs up close. AMAZING! Highly recommended!
We stayed at Lake Tekapo for 2 nights, however, we only had 1 meal outside, as the first night we arrived well after dinner time.
We had dinner at Reflections Café and Restaurant, right in the “centre” of town.
We had some garlic bread.
The kids had a burger.
And my husband and I had a delicious steak with sides.
For dessert, we tried their Sticky Date Pudding – which was good.
And their Crème Brûlée which was a total disappointment, as it was curdled!!
The place was all together ok, however, I read on their site that they are now closed (hopefully temporarily) because of a fire.
BREAKFAST & LUNCH
We were self-catering, so we bought some food at the local supermarket.
In Lake Tekapo, we stayed in a beautiful house called Stargate Retreat.
It was HUGE. There were 3 bedrooms,
And 2 bathrooms.
The kitchen area was also very nice and spacious.
And so was the living area, which included a fireplace.
There was also a laundry, which is a great plus when travelling with kids.
The house was spotless and well-appointed and in a very good position, just outside town in a quiet residential area with plenty of cute rabbits running around.
I can definitely recommend the Stargate Retreat for your stay in Lake Tekapo!
Mt. Cook and the Tasman Glacier are beautiful! They are a must-see for any South Island visit.
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Don’t forget to pin this Mt. Cook – New Zealand Guide!