I left it a bit late to book my Intercity bus from Mt. Cook to Lake Tekapo and the following morning at 8am, I called Intercity to book my seat. They told me that because all the passenger lists had already been printed they couldn’t reserve a seat for me but to turn up at the pick up point behind the Hermitage Hotel and I could get on the bus. There were plenty of spaces I was told. It was now in the off peak season so luckily there were seats left.
I called into the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre in Mt. Cook to have a look at their museum there. They always have great information about the walks and the local area. Downstairs there was another room which was dedicated to information about the building of the D.O.C. huts, the geology of the area, the tectonic plates which the Southern Alps sit on and there was also information about the local mountain rescue and Search and Rescue teams and what they do.
Oh, I have to mention that I felt about seven or eight aftershocks(earthquakes) on the night that I arrived in Mt. Cook. I was in bed and couldn’t sleep. The bunk bed shook strongly for a couple of seconds and stopped. I thought it was cool! They started around 11.30pm and continued every so often after that until 5.30/6am and it wasn’t the guy sleeping in the bed below me because he was asleep.
It only took an hour and a half to get to Lake Tekapo. I had been here in 2009 and stayed in the Tailor Made Backpackers and loved my experience there. So I wanted to go back. I made my way up the hill and checked in. The Tailor Made Backpackers is a lovely hostel, with separate accommodation units, a main area where reception is, a well-equipped self catering kitchen and very helpful staff. There is a really cosy feel to the place and it’s a great spot to sit out at night and watch the stars.