After having a wonderful time at Wanaka, we headed to Twizel for a night, a 30-minute drive away from Mount Cook Village.

As we checked into Twizel Holiday Park, I breathed a sigh of relief. The comfort of a hot shower and a well-deserved dinner were waiting for us to indulge. We parked our JUCY Condo at our allocated lot, and off we went to soak ourselves. Having not showered for days, it definitely felt good to have a hot shower under freezing temperatures!

As most holiday parks do not provide cookware, we grab our own from the campervan and proceeded on with cooking noodles and steak for dinner. Since we were on a budget, we normally skip lunch. So, dinner is something that we always look forward to - filling our tummies with a proper and deserving meal to end of the day.   

Next morning, we were en-route to Mount Cook National Park. We were definitely looking forward to hike on the Hooker Valley Track. Our initial plan was to commence the hike at a later part of the afternoon, but a waitress at the Old Mountaineer’s Café told us that we should get going with the hike, because once the sun sets below the mountains, the temperature will drop drastically. Heeding that advice, we immediately started our hike. As it has been snowing for the past couple of days, the road leading up to the start point of the Hooker Valley Track was closed. Hence, we had to start our hike at the entrance of Hooker Valley Road, an estimated 14-km return hike. Over the course of the hike, the temperature plummeted down to a -5 to -10 degrees! Our phones stopped functioning, luckily our cameras were still working! Also, I noticed that the water in my bottle had turned into a lush. It was crazy, crazy in a good way! As nightfall became more apparent, we managed to finish the hike in time. Luckily, we hitched a ride from a local so that saved us 20 minutes of the walk back to our campervan. 

Next morning, knowing that the road leading to Tasman Glacier Lake was closed, our initial plan was to walk in, a 16-km return walk. At 6am, I believe the temperature was at least -15 degrees. I layered myself with five layers including a down jacket and a windbreaker. All set and ready to go, but, within a couple of minutes, my extremities were frozen and numb! I could barely move them. Disappointed, we backed out and drove around the village instead, going round in circles, watching the sunrise from the camper van.

After staying for a couple of hours at the village, to our delight, the road opened! We laughed to ourselves, and yelled “Onwards”! Due to our numerous unpleasant encounters of battling for traction on slippery surfaces with the campervan, the drive inwards was definitely sketchy at times, slowly and steadily, we arrived at the carpark in one piece! We checked out the surroundings, cooked a quick meal in the campervan and we headed back to the village to edit photos as we waited for the hours to tick by before returning to the Tasman Glacier Lake for the sunset. 

Stellar times at Aoraki – Mount Cook National Park.