A few years ago I established the tradition to go hiking in the Southern Alps of New Zealand on Australia Day long weekend (as a result of NZ being easier to get to than Mount Kosciuszko). A friend recommended the hike to Mueller Hut in Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park which is a tough climb, yet rewards with spectacular views.
Rushing into Christchurch on the Friday night flight, driving down the 4 hours to Aoraki / Mount Cook Saturday morning on the most beautiful and warm weekend possible. In fact it was so hot that I only started the hike after 16:00h because it was too hot and the trail is 100% exposed.
Rarely I have seen so much beauty in one place – the mountains, the lakes in amazing colours, which you only get in glacial waters, and the glaciers. You hear cracking, thunder and see avalanches day and night… especially on a warm & beautiful summer day. The Tasman Glacier retracts between 500m and 1,000m every year (!), you better be quick, this is global warming in action.
The village is a tourist resort and you should bring your gear and food (especially for the hut or camping), there are only a few “independent” places to eat (The Old Mountaineers – my favourite for beer, burgers, sausages and desserts – and the Chamois at the backpackers) and to stay (Mount Cook Backpacker Lodge, YHA Mount Cook, Aoraki Court Motel and Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Lodge – the latter is right next to the visitor centre). In case it’s not too cold you can also stay at the DOC White Horse Hill camp ground being in the heart of the most spectacular mountain scenery and still within walking distance (by my standards) of the village – purely putting this here thinking of a post-hike beer.
It’s “tough” starting the year with such an amazing experience … where and how am I going to move from here…
… so I am planning to do the “Traumpfad” (germ. lit.: dream track) from Munich to Venice. Or let’s say part thereof until close to Bozen where I will spend some time in Kofler-land with friends.
The Traumpfad is an amazing track “founded” by Ludwig Graßler leading from Marienplatz in the heart of Munich to Piazza San Marco in Venice in about 30 days. Knowing that pictures say more than a thousand words, there is the film “Der Weg war sein Ziel: Zu Fuß von München nach Venedig” on iTunes and another one by BergReif on YouTube “Traumpfad München Venedig wandern | Der Film 2014” (trailer below).