Franz Josef - Mount Cook

Mount Cook National Park Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 16 › view all entries

This would be our longest and furthest drive we would be doing in one day on our road trip.

Mount Cook is about 35km from Franz Josef as the crow flies.  However... a small thing - called the Southern Alps was in the way.  There is no road through the mountain so we had to drive through Haast Pass and Wanaka to get to Mount Cook... so as we couldn't fly across the mountain we had to drive 490km instead!

We were planning on stopping at Lake Wanaka where you can get fantastic views of Mount Cook reflected in the Lake, however it started raining as soon as we left Franz Josef.

.. not just light rain either, it was proper torrential rain!  At one point it was so bad we couldn't really see the car in front of us even though it had it's lights on.  This was not the easiest drive... driving round hair pin bends round the side of a mountain with a sheer drop on one side in the torrential rain was hard work, and quite scary!

We were staying in the Hermitage Hotel which is in the middle of the national park.  The scenery and mountains are supposed to be amazing, but we couldn't see any of it because of the rain!  Our room was on the 4th floor of the Aoraki Wing - all rooms in this wing have massive windows that face out towards the mountains so you get pamoramic views of the national park.  We had a really good hazy rain smeared view of the mountains!  Our meal in the restaurant was amazing, the food in this world is fantastic, and it was included in our holiday package!

It was still raining after our dinner so we didn't go exploring, instead we went back up to our room and watched some NZ tv!

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Mount Cook (the day I arrived)
Mount Cook (the day I arrived)
The looooong route
The looooong route
Mount Cook National Park
photo by: lucyglaser