The day we drove to Mount Cook began with news that Prince William and Kate Middleton had got engaged. The news was all over the tv and newspapers. We drove north to Mt Cook expecting bad weather but instead we got hot sunshine! The drive up to the mountain was amazing,with Lake Pukaki alongside the road for part of the journey, and in the distance, Mt Cook, New Zealand's largest mountain.
We were staying in a backpacker lodge, which was alright, and had magnificent views from our room. Pretty much anywhere you are in the village gives you fab views of the mountain, and the view never grew tiring! We spent our days there doing walks around the area, exploring the forest areas and doing a 3 hour walk along the Hooker Valley to see a glacier near the mountain. Another nearby glacier, the Tasman glacier, was also accessible with a walk. We really enjoyed our stay in Mount Cook, and were sad to have to leave (especially the amazing view).
We drove past Lake Pukaki again, and past Lake Tekapo (an extremely picturesque lake with a sweet little church on the edge of it), and through the seaside town of Timaru to get to Christchurch, our final stop on the South Island, and New Zealand. Though it's the biggest place on the South Island, we didn't find much to keep us amused, though we did see the new Harry Potter film! We did also see evidence of the recent earthquake, which did a lot of damage to some areas of the city centre. We spoke to someone who said that since the earthquake there have been 3000 aftershocks! After hearing that little fact, we were starting to feel maybe it was good timing to leave New Zealand for Oz! We really enjoyed our New Zealand part of the trip - there were so many high points it's hard to say what our favourite thing was!