12 hours in Mount Cook, New Zealand

It was our second last day on our Wild Kiwi Southern Voyager tour and we departed Queenstown for Mount Cook.

Getting to Mount Cook from Queenstown

Lindis Pass

We drove through the picturesque Lindis Pass which links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago.


We then stopped in at Omarama for lunch. There are a few options to grab a bite to eat, all of which were pretty good! It was a pretty cute little town.

What to do in Mount Cook

Mount Cook Information Centre

Our accommodation next to the Mount Cook Information Centre, so whilst it was convenient for us, I would definitely recommend a quick stop to look at the displays, memorial books as well as an interactive map of the region which will really put it into perspective.

Tasman Glacier View Walk

Rainy day or not, it was time for another walk! The Tasman Glacier was around 15-20 minutes up some stairs (depending on how many photos you take) straight past the Blue Lakes and the views are definitely worth it.

The Blue Lakes can be seen around halfway up. Somewhat deceiving as the Blue Lakes are actually green ponds- luckily the tourism board must have realised this is confusing so an explanatory sign was placed at the lookout:

In the mid-1800s when the Blue Lakes were named, they were fed by turquoise glacial melt water 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 lake supports green algae, making the Blue Lakes green.

When you reach the Tasman Glacier View, you have a ‘wow’ moment. When we visited the lake was this gorgeous icy blue colour with massive chunks of ice scattered throughout. I can only imagine what the colours would be like with sunshine.

Doing what I do, I decided to head down straight down the rocky hill to reach the lake. Honestly, it looks close but it really isn’t. Would I do it again? Probably.

Check out this short video which includes me heading down the rocky front towards the lake.

Next on the list was a nice warm shower, a few drinks at the bar and Monopoly Deal (like monopoly but a card game – check it out, it’s pretty good!).

Mount Cook Helicopter Scenic Flight with Snow Landing

The next morning we woke up to blue skies with a light breeze, absolutely perfect for a scenic Helicopter flight with snow landing! We’ve been in many helicopters but the snow landing was a first and I have to say, pretty epic.

Read more about this experience here.

thewelltravelledman mount cook helicopter

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“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck


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