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Wanaka to mount cook, overnight, full day, airport day after

London
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Wanaka to mount cook, overnight, full day, airport day after

Hi guys,

So we will be driving from Wanaka up to Mount Cook around 20th march and staying at Aoraki Court Motel. I have a few questions....

1) We assume 3 hours for the drive to Mt Cook, allowing some brief photo stops. Realistic, and any guidance on where to stop for photos?

2) We have a six month old baby who will want feeding on the way - recommend anywhere to stop?

3) best to do the journey early am, mid am or early pm?

4) I heard sunset can be special at mt cook if the weather is right. Where could we go view this and take some photos (bear in mind the need to take baby with us)

5) eating in the evenings / lunch - any recommendations or guidance?

6) we have a full day there and are finding it a bit tough trying to summarise our options for the day. Can anybody help? We like walking all though can't go for more than a few hours at a time due to baby.

7) temperature - any ideas what it might be?

8)leaving to get to the airport on the third day - we have to drop our car back and be on a flight at 4.55pm. I would really like to do the more scenic trip back (ie not use route1 the whole way) - what's a good way to go, where to stop, and what time to leave?

Thank you!

Christchurch, New...
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1. Re: Wanaka to mount cook, overnight, full day, airport day after

Yes, you are right about the 3 hour drive. The main town/ village you will pass is Omarama, almost exactly half way. There is at least one cafe there that caters for the coaches. Twizel is bigger, but off the main road. You don't really need to detour into Twizel.

The Old Mountaineer is the main cafe at Mt Cook outside the hotel. The Hermitage has a canteen-style cafe, again catering for coaches. Iirc it is not open in the evening. Self-ctaering may be an option depending on where you are staying.

Do you have a backpack for the baby? Kea Point is an easy track, about 1 hour each way. With the Hooker Valley track you can walk as far as you like & turn round. You can drive to the Tasman Glacier, park at the Blue Pools carpark & walk to where Glacier Explorers launch their boats.

I have been taken to task by other posters for recommending 5 hours for the trip to Chch, but you will want to stop at Lake Tekapo for photos & maybe lunch. (90 min from Mt Cook). Fairlie is a large rural town with several good cafes. So you start on SH8 & then SH79 to Geraldine. From Geraldine you can take the Inland Scenic Route - well signposted through to Darfield. This avoids SH1 completely, but is slower.

New Zealand
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2. Re: Wanaka to mount cook, overnight, full day, airport day after

1 - yep, 3 hours easy - any place you want to take a pic, simply pull off the road when safe to do so - the number of twits who stop in the middle of the road is ridiculous

2 - stop when the baby is due for a feed - there are picnic spots, scenic spots galore

3 - will you have done all your Wanaka activities? Then head out mid-morning - stop in Omarama for lunch...

4 - close to a window if indoors would be best. Or walk outside

5 - take a look at the possibilites and make a choice. The Old Mountaineers is recommended by many here.

6 - on arrival visit the DOC office for suggestions and maps. Make a decision based on weather, mood and DOC recommendations

7 - yep, anything possible from hot to cold, wet to dry. niwa.co.nz/education-and-training/…climate

London
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3. Re: Wanaka to mount cook, overnight, full day, airport day after

Cheers guys, very helpful

WLnz you made me chuckle - 'close to a window'! ;-) hahaha ) and as for stopping in the middle of the road - do people really do that?! Good to appreciate as I might slow down going round bends if that's the case. Not common to find on narrow English roads...

New Zealand
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4. Re: Wanaka to mount cook, overnight, full day, airport day after

Tourists have been known to stop in the middle of one way bridges then get out of the vehicle to take pics!

Also take care of possible stock on the roads. If you see a wee sign on the side of the road saying stock then slow down and perpare to stop. If wanting pics pull off the road. If wanting to keep going and the sheep/cattle are coming towards you, simply slow right down and continue to move forwards on the road. They will part around you. If the stock is moving the same direction as you, slowly continue on the road - the stock will move over, out of your way. Best not toot, honk or do anything else to your horn. The stock will get upset, as will the farmer.

If you do everything right, the farmer with thank you with a friendly wave :)

5. Re: Wanaka to mount cook, overnight, full day, airport day after

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