New Zealand Day Five: A Quick Hike At Lake Tekapo And Onward to Aoraki/Mt. Cook, highest peak in the Southern Alps

New Zealand Day Five: A Quick Hike At Lake Tekapo And Onward to Aoraki/Mt. Cook, highest peak in the Southern Alps

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I slept well after my wonderful visit to Mt. Johns Observatory but not for long. I was up early hoping to watch the sunrise over the mountains of the Southern Alps surrounding Lake Tekapo.  I again walked to the lake and followed the trails along its shore.clouds over lake Tekapo

I soon learned that, although the sun rose around 7 a.m. it did not appear above the  high peaks of the mountains until much later. There was a chilly wind blowing from the lake on this late summer morning. It didn’t stop this gull from enjoying breakfast.seagull feeding

At first I wasn’t sure what it was eating but learned it was a dead bird it found along the lake. seagull

Not my choice for breakfast but then again I am not a seagull. seagull

I again walked past the church and statue of the dog. This time I found some lupines still in bloom. Once again I imagined how beautiful the lake must be when these flowers are in full bloom. lupine flower

I walked a trail along the lake and below the town. I found a lot of flowers and weeds here that had gone to seed. And a lot of finch like birds enjoying those seeds. I still haven’t been able to identify them and would appreciate any help.

And also some help identifying  this diving bird, I saw a group of them under the bridge  at the outlet of the lake. Here is a link to some more   photographs of  some of the   birds I saw on my walk.  New  Zealand  Day  Five  Lake  Tekapo  birds  February  10  2019

I had to check out of my lodge at 10 a.m. so, reluctantly,  I had to return to my room.  I quickly packed and arranged for my host  to drop off my luggage at the bus stop at the information center at 11:30. I  wish I had more time to enjoy this view from my room. Here is a link to some more photos from my morning walk. New Zealand Day Five Lake Tekapo morning walk. February 10 2019view from room at lodge

I walked back to town to get one last look at the lake and also to find some breakfast.   After having another large meal, it seems portions are double in New Zealand, I soon met up with my luggage and was on my way to the Southern Alps and  Aoraki/Mt. Cook. breakfast at Lake Tekapo

We had another delay on the bus, this time for a missing passenger, who got off at a rest stop and did not re-board the bus.   Once the issue was resolved, the bus driver, advised the next bus of the missing passenger, we moved on driving through the scenic countryside. We soon drove by beautiful Lake Pukaki,

and made our way up the long valley to Aoraki/Mt. Cook Village. The mountain scenery was spectacular. .

Mt. Cook, which in Maori is Aoraki, is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Although it was mostly shrouded in clouds, it towered over the other mountains of the Southern Alps.

I was left off at my Hotel, The Mt. Cook Lodge around 1 p.m. It was mostly sunny but Mt. Cook was shrouded in some clouds. My room was not ready so I decided to take a hike on the Kia Point trail.

I walked past the beautiful and historic Hermitage hotel and made my way  to the narrow trail .  At times I walked alone and at times I passed large groups of tourists, many of them Chinese, as I made my way along the alien, to me,  shrubs and brush, of the New Zealand woodlands. 

I observed many exotic plants, flowers,

and berries as I made my way along the trail.

And some beautiful birds too. I think this is a yellowhammer,

I am sure this is a silvereye and,

I believe this is a greenfinch. Please correct me if I am wrong.

The trail climbed upward to the foot of a large mountain with a glacier on it.

It became windy and cooler as I approached the mountain at the edge of the trail. The trail ended near some cliffs,

atop a lake.

The view was again spectacular. I took in the amazing scenery of these rugged mountains and made my way back to my hotel.

Again I passed a number of fellow hikers, all friendly, enjoying the awesome scenery of the New Zealand mountains.

It was now almost 4 p.m. when I returned to the hotel and I checked in and was driven to a quaint and comfortable cabin with a beautiful view of Mt. Cook.

I unpacked and took in the scenery from my cabin. But again, I did not have much leisure time. I wanted to eat at the Hermitage Hotel and the only reservation I could get was 6 p.m. So I showered and was to eat again.I am glad I did. The clouds surrounding Mt. Cook had lifted giving us a clear view of the mountain.

And what a magnificent view from the restaurant. I had a delicious , meal  of fresh salmon ,

and an awesome desert.

I walked back to my room. I put in over ten miles of walking again and I was tired.  I set my alarm for midnight to get up and see the stars and was soon fast asleep. It was another delightful day in New Zealand.


“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news” 
― John Muir

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