The Hooker Valley Track is easily the most popular hiking route in the Mount Cook National Park. With lovely alpine scenery at every turn of the road, it’s easy to see why people love it. Many even consider it one of the best half-day hikes in New Zealand’s South Island. And yet, much as I’d love to join all the praise, I cannot. Don’t get me wrong – Hooker Valley Track is a lovely and beautiful walk. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
As a landscape photographer, I truly enjoy how unpredictable and full of surprises nature can be. It’s amazing how sometimes you find beauty where you never quite anticipated it. Moraine Ridge Walk at Lake Tasman in Mount Cook National Park is exactly that type of place. We expected nothing more than a pleasant stroll to the lakeshore, but it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand.