With great reluctance, we left Lake Tekapo to travel to our next pitstop – Mt Cook. It is always amazing to drive in New Zealand because everywhere you turn, you can possibly take a postcard-worthy shot. We made a stop at Cromwell en route to Mt Cook, as we’d read that it was possible to try our hands on cherry-picking at one of the farms!
For those of you who’ve not heard about Cromwell, it is located in central Otago, and is home to some of the most famous wineries in NZ. That’s hardly surprising since it lies at the confluence of the Clutha River and Kawarau River, making its conditions excellent for growing grapes. (Yum!)
We drove along Ripponvale Road, and chanced upon Cheeki Cherries. Sadly, the cherry growing season hadn’t started yet, so we couldn’t get any cherry picking done. However, we were so awfully lucky to bump into the owner of the farm, who was on his way out to visit a friend. He took us around the farm for free, and let us roam around for a bit even after he was gone! So we managed to capture these lovely shots of the place.
The friendly owner gave us a brief introduction to the cherry farm, and how cherries are grown in general. We even found out that he had stayed in Singapore for a few years, before coming back to NZ to set up his own cherry farm! What a beautiful coincidence!
After about an hour, it was time to hit the roads again. All too soon, we were on the way to Mount Cook. Along the way, we made sure to drop by Mt Cook Alpine Salmon to get our hands on that coveted freshwater king salmon :p
You know you want it! 😀
We can’t really remember exactly how much it cost, but it was definitely well worth it. Well, imagine freshwater salmon on your salivating taste buds as you take in the beautiful scenery next to the shop!
Are you impressed yet?
The (light) meal was so satiating. It gave us enough energy for the rest of the journey to Mt Cook! We did the Hooker Valley Track, which was a leisurely 3h walk (return). The landscape was absolutely stunning. We’ll let the pictures do the talking.
The highlight of the track was its end point, glacier lake, which has bits of floating glaciers in the midst of an azure lake. It can get quite cold at the lake, so a waterproof windbreaker is highly recommended.
If you don’t already know, we take all our pictures using our handphones, and they are absolutely unedited. Can you imagine how beautiful this place is? That said, we were quite disturbed by a group of Chinese and Italian tourists who were walking into the lake, picking up bits of glaciers to pose for photographs, and then throwing them back into the lake once they were done with their poses. By the time they were done, the glaciers had melted to half their original sizes.
Not very considerate, dudes!
We left Mt Cook awed, once again, by all the natural beauty New Zealand had to offer.
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