So originally I had booked accommodation for Mt Cook Mueller Hut 6 months prior for Dec 31 so we could spend NYE on top of a mountain, staring at the stars and seeing the NY sunrise. Sadly the weather did not cooperate and with storms and gale force winds forecasted we changed plans to drive to Mt Cook a day prior to check it out before the weather took a turn for the worse.
From Arrowtown we drove to Mt Cook and instead of doing a 7-8 hour hike to Mueller Hut we did the easy 2.5 hour hike to Hooker Valley Track which is probably the most scenic hike/walk I have ever done in my life. Here are some photos of its epicness:
Afterwards we drove for very long all the way to Dunedin. But not without first stopping at Elephant Rocks to do some bouldering. The rock type is similar to Castle Hill but slight less smooth. It was fun.
Can we conquer donald duck?
Then we drove to Morataki Lighthouse like a madman on gravel road to try and spot to endangered Yellow Eyed Penguins coming home at sunset . And we did spot some and one even walked up the hill to catch some last ray of sunshine.
We spent our night in Dunedin which is quite a big city. Being a cheapo, I booked a budget hotel which ended up being a hotel straight out of the scene of The Shining. We also had a giant pizza because the server said we could finish it. We could not.