Our family has recently enjoyed a short break at Mt Cook (Aoraki) camping at the White Horse DOC Camping ground. If you don't mind tenting this is a great place to take the kids or to just relax and enjoy being amongst the majestic mountains with Mt Cook looking down on you.
It's also very affordable. It only costs $10 per adult per night with under 18's free. It only cost us $40 for two nights. The camping ground has communal toilets and kitchen. There are showers available in the village at $2 for 5 minutes. We utilised them after a hot sweetie day walking up the Hooker Valley.
As mentioned we walked up the Hooker Valley, a gentle incline walk to the Hooker Lake with glacier at the end. Looking straight into the belly button of Aoraki. It is a couple of small pebbled beach areas where hikers enjoyed a quiet break sunning themselves. We skimmed stones, walked up to our knees and dipped our head twice. Needless to say the water is definitely not tropical and we weren't in for long. A family dare! A small picnic snack and then a gentle meander back to the campsite.
We visited the Tasman Lake and viewed the Tasman Glacier the longest in the Southern Hemisphere at 26(?) kilometres long and shrinking, thanks to our farting dairy cows:-) We were looking at doing the Mueller hut walk, which would have been more challenging walk but the weather closed in the next day with low cloud, wind and rain forecasted. So we spent the morning slowly packing up and then visiting the Department of Conservation I-site and schooling up on New Zealand history.
A great time and would strongly recommend.
If you're looking for short term accommodation in Ashburton in early January check this out! Due to a cancellation we're currently offering a New Years special for the Green Gecko Apartment of only $95/night plus no cleaning fee. Is running from the 1-15 January 2015.
Happy New Year everyone and hope to see you again some time.