We all set off early in the morning and headed for Twizel. Boy was it cold, our first real sign of winter to come. 10C when we awoke and it slowly rose a few degrees during the day. Our plan was to get ourselves sorted and drop off the motorhome and caravans and drive into Mt Cook. It was a glorious day and Geoff finally had to eat his words as there is a Mt Cook after all, although they had never managed to see it before, despite visiting several times.
Our destination was to view the $7.5 million Edmond Hilary Alpine Centre at the Hermitage. Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a World Heritage Site and covers over 70,000 hectares of beautiful alpine scenery.
Edmund Hilary did his training for his ascent of Mt Everest in 1953 on the slopes of Mount Cook. Outside the centre is a statue of Hilary looking at his favourite mountain, opened by him in 2008 prior to his death the same year.
The day managed to stay fine for us but we had some torrential rain in the afternoon after returning to camp at Lake Ruataniwha.