Wednesday, November 25, 2009
My adventure to Mount Cook started in Queenstown with a frantic run to catch my Great Sights bus whilst carrying a 20kg backpack and trying to ram a nut bar down my throat for breakfast. After reaching the terminal looking like a squirrel that’d been harvesting food, I was told that the bus I’d been chasing was actually on its way to Milford Sounds.
With a grey sky looming, the next place I headed was the planetarium and museum. This is situated in the Hermitage hotel; the ominous grey building that dominates the village. With a tremendous interest in the stars and space, I headed first to the dome shaped cinema to watch a film about black holes. It was an amazing display of animation that had me wishing that Stephen Hawkings was my travel partner so he could kindly explain a thing or two. I was then handed a pair of coloured glasses and looking like Clark Kent’s cousin, watched a 3D movie about Mount Cook. This was absolutely mind-blowing and is a must in my book!
The perfect end to my trip was a morning walk up the Red Tarns track. A one-hour up-hill hike, this definitely requires a good level of fitness. As I sat alone on a large plateau, I was rewarded by the soft sounds of trickling water, the twitter and hum of wildlife and the delicate crashing of distant avalanches. Mount Cook reflected her twin peaks in the lake before me, instilling a sense of calm that stayed with me throughout the day.