Up at dawn for an early drive to see Mt Cook but, more importantly, to have the breakfast buffet at Hermitage Hotel, http://www.hermitage.co.nz/en/dining/the-alpine-restaurant. We’ve been salivating over the experience ever since. I don’t mean to bore, but the full buffet even included miso soup and sushi and other Asian foods. so the combination of fine dining and breathtaking views out the floor-to-ceiling windows was quite an experience at 10am.
To get there we drove through low scrub bush of pale golden brown, a strong line of Alps on the horizon and periodic tree farms and lakes – but Mt Cook dominated the landscape. After stuffing ourselves silly we drove to Hooker Valley track-Kea Point for a hike through sub-alpine grasslands and scrub to the Mueller Glacier moraine wall. At the end of the walk you’re rewarded with stunning views of Mt Sefton and Footstool, the Hooker Valley, Mueller Glacier Lake and Aoraki/Mt Cook. Jim got 2/3 of the way along the track but my knees made it difficult to go beyond the first third of the track. Time for walking sticks.
I don’t like to use outside photos, but the followng image clearly shows and identifies the Alps.