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Hiking in the South Island no.3

Guest Blogger: Lucy Xu (Reception Manager)

Nature and the mountains are calling out to you to explore! Our beautiful home of New Zealand offers an endless amount of jaw dropping scenery and there is just so much to explore. The diversity in the scenery here is certainly spectacular; there are glaciers, deep rainforest and lakes so beautiful you just have to go for swim. There is truly no better way to get up close and person with nature than spending a few hours or days just taking in all that New Zealand has to offer and exploring on foot. Speaking from the perspective of a local of 6 ish years, I’ve composed a list of a few of my absolute favourite places to explore and a few handy tips 😉

So without further ado, here comes a hike a day!

Mount Cook:

The Mueller Hut – The most breath-taking views, probably my top hike ever! This one is an overnight hike, or it can be done in one day. Seriously good looking views from the summit, worth the climb! The views feature New Zealand’s highest peaks, huge glaciers, ice cliffs and a view of Mount Cook that is simply incredible. I would strongly recommend staying the night in the hut. The views at sunset and sunrise are just magical. The hut must be booked in advance via the DOC website.

The hike is only 4 hours up to the summit, but don’t be fooled by the short time, it’s seriously tough on the legs. It’s a solid 2 hours of climbing wooden steps followed by a 2 hour scramble up rocks. Then you’ll face a ridge line with potential gale force winds. To finish the hike is a nice trudge through snow! Well the snow may not be there, but I did go in the middle of summer and the last 45 minutes was ankle deep snow. But it is all worth it. Make sure you do prepare for all weather conditions, as you experience them all on this hike. I experienced 25 degree heat for the first 3 hours, followed by gale force winds at 90 km/ hr, followed by snow!

Once you get to the hut, you can drop your bags off and you must do the side walk to Mt Olliver. It’s a short scramble up some rocks, and you’ll get unbelievable panoramic views of the area.  The hut is quite basic; there is water, toilets, gas stoves and mattresses in the communal sleeping rooms. Please note that there is no toilet paper, cooking utensils, cooking pots or washing up liquid so you’ll have to bring these. You’ll also need plenty of food and a sleeping bag. Some lightweight shoes to wear inside the hut is also a good idea, as you’ll have to leave your hiking boots at the entrance. Also bring a good torch! The light in the hut is quite limited and the toilet is also located outside, so it may be a short walk in the snow to reach it.

Everything about this hike is an amazing experience; make sure you add it to your bucket list!