A Postcard from Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park and Mueller Hut

A Postcard from Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park and Mueller Hut

One of New Zealand’s best ribbons of highway is more than just means to the end. The road threading through McKenzie Country is a destination itself. When adventure called a couple of weeks ago, I happily embraced the unmapped life with three simple goals on my mind. More about these later.

First, let’s have a look at where my unstoppable wanderlust took me. Heading southwest from Christchurch, passing sweeping plains and sleepy towns, the soaring mountains in the distance grew larger with every kilometre. Upon entering Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park, the choice of day walks and overnight hikes was sublime and with one last bed left at Mueller Hut, the decision was an easy one.

Climbing up 1000m, it quickly turned into one of the sweatiest 5km walks I’ve ever done. Once the jaw-dropping views (cliché, I know; but seriously, have you seen the photos below?!) of New Zealand’s highest peak, neighbouring glaciers and vertical rock cliffs settled in, it was time for one last climb before dinner. Behind me, I saw Sir Edmund Hillary’s first ever peak, Mt Ollivier, arching over my brightly coloured home for the night. I would be rude not to.

As I was headed north again the following day, a big smile on my face, sunlight filtering through, passing lavender fields and bluer-than-blue lakes, I suddenly remembered my three intentions for the weekend.

1. Climb a mountain.
2. Make friends with strangers.
3. Leave your laptop behind (and that’s a big one, you guys).

Mission accomplished. There is only one trouble that comes with a road trip.

There is never enough time.

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What’s the best road trip you’ve ever been on?

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