Mount Cook - Christchurch

Mount Cook National Park Travel Blog

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Sunrise - Mount Cook

The plan for today would be to drive 329km to Christchurch stopping at Lake Tekapo on the way.

When I woke up the next morning (at ridiculous o'clock!) it had stopped raining and I had woken up in time to watch the sunrise over the mountains.  I didn't really see much of the mountains when I arrived the previous night, but the views I had that morning made the long drive in the heavy rain worthwhile.   I spent quite a long time hanging out the hotel window trying to take photos before I decided it actually made more sense to go outside!!  The amazing colours of the sunrise cast fantasitic shadows across the mountains so every couple of minutes they looked completely different.

Mount Cook - Sunrise
  Needless to say I took more photos than was necessary!

The breakfast in the Herimitage Hotel was a huge buffet style arrangement - loads of fruit, cereals, pastries, pancakes, muffins and all the usual hot food.  We had another long journey to Christchurch ahead of us so stuffed ourselves silly and took some muffins for the journey.

We were planning on just stopping at Lake Tekapo, but not very long into our journey we had a 'slight incident' and had to stop...  A policeman was waiting for me over the side of a hill and caught me speeding (if he had caught me the other side he would have caught me going even faster!)  Once I had pulled over, he walked over to me and asked if 'I had any explanation for my speed back there' my Mum was sitting next to me and giving me an 'I told you to stop speeding look'.

Mount Cook - Sunrise
  I decided to plead ignorance and just said 'erm, no, was I speeding?'.  Turns out that will only works on TV and in movies...  The policeman gave me a lecture on why it is so dangerous to speed on long straight roads that go on and on forever, then asked to see my driving licence.  I reached into the back seat of the car to get my bag, and my driving licence wasn't there...  The policeman had a gleeful little look on his face that looked like he was thinking, hurrah, not only do I catch the only person driving down this road speeding, but I've caught her driving without a licence.  Unfortunately for him I remembered I had moved my driving licence into my rucksack when we went on the heli-hike trip.  I handed it over to him and he looked at it for a little while, then started writing lots of information down.
Mount Cook National Park - Sunrise
  He then handed it back to me together with a shiny $120 speeding ticket. As soon as he had handed it over to me he turned into a member of the New Zealand Tourist Information - asking where we had been and where we were going.  Then he told us to have a nice trip... and stick to the speed limit!

The first thing I did when I arrived at Lake Tekapo was send a text message to some of my friends telling them about the being pulled over incident...  Minutes later I got several text messages back, were they full of sympathy you ask?  No... they all just laughed at me.

Lake Tekapo is an amazing turquoise colour, this is because of the finely ground rock in the melted glacier water.  It is surrounded by the Southern Alps so once again you get amazing scenery!  On the side of the lake there is a small church called the Church of the Good Shepherd.  It is a tiny little church but once you step inside it feels absolutely massive - the side of the church that faces the lake has a panoramic window running along the whole side behind the altar.

Thankfully I made it to Christchurch without getting any more speeding tickets...

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Sunrise - Mount Cook
Sunrise - Mount Cook
Mount Cook - Sunrise
Mount Cook - Sunrise
Mount Cook - Sunrise
Mount Cook - Sunrise
Mount Cook National Park - Sunrise
Mount Cook National Park - Sunrise
Mount Cook - Sunrise
Mount Cook - Sunrise
Mount Cook - Sunrise
Mount Cook - Sunrise
Mount Cook - Sunrise
Mount Cook - Sunrise
Panorama!
Panorama!
Leaving Mt Cook
Leaving Mt Cook
Leaving Mt Cook
Leaving Mt Cook
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Mount Cook from the edge of the na…
Mount Cook from the edge of the n…
Mount Cook from the edge of the na…
Mount Cook from the edge of the n…
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
View from in the Church of the Goo…
View from in the Church of the Go…
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
The Church of the Good Shepherd
The Church of the Good Shepherd
Inside the Church of the Good Shep…
Inside the Church of the Good She…
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Mount Cook National Park
photo by: lucyglaser