I went over to the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre to see what sort of short walks I could do. Kea Point Walk was one that stood out in my mind. It said that it would take about an hour and a half to do the walk, there and back. It was 4.30pm and still pretty warm. The sky was practically cloudless apart from a few wisps of cloud here and there and Mt. Sefton, clad in its cloak of snow and glaciers, was as clear as day, not to mention Mt. Cook, whose peak was visible for miles around. We were told that due to improvements being made on the path, there was a diversion which might take us two hours to do the walk, instead of one and a half. Once you pass the D.O. C car park, then it’s only thirty minutes from there to Kea Point.
So I started off. The path takes you south west of The Hermitage Hotel and on to the left of the car park up to Kea Point, with a view of one of the small lakes up there. Now the path opened out onto this open valley, with that gold coloured grass that I mentioned before, that looks like velvet from a distance, which was interspersed with those thorny bushes, called matagouri, here and there. The view of Mt. Cook and Mt. Sefton was absolutely stunning, towering over the valley like kings. The whole golden valley was bathed in evening sunshine and because I love open spaces, especially with stunning scenery, I just died and went to heaven again! The mountains were close enough to see nearly every nook and cranny of its sheer rock face and to see them that close up, with the sun beaming down over the whole scene, the white topped peaks of those majestic mountains in clear view and the golden colour of the grass was breathtaking. Honestly, my heart skipped more that just a beat.
So in a sort of daze, I carried on walking, taking in as much as I could of the view, drinking it in with every breath. That, for me, was the nicest part of the walk. I got to the car park but couldn’t find the path to Kea Point, as there were several paths in and around the car park. I asked a few people and the last couple I talked to pointed me in the right direction. The signpost said that it would take thirty minutes to get to the end of the walk and it sure did! The path got a bit rougher, with bigger rocks and looser shale but it was easy to walk. It was more uphill now and in the shade, there was a noticeable drop in temperature.
The path went behind the finger of a mountain and wound its way up to Kea Point, with the end of the path finishing at a ledge, with a deep drop down to the lake below. The view was lovely in the sunshine, with Mt. Sefton to the left in shadow, Mt. Cook and the Main Divide range bathed in the evening glow of the sun. It was great to say that I did the walk, as I’m not a hiker but on this trip, I did a lot more walks than I normally would do. There were quite a few people around, as it’s a fairly popular, easy walk to do.
At 6pm I decided to head back, as the sun was going down and it was getting colder. I got to my favourite part of the walk and stayed there to watch the sun going down on the Mt. Cook. I had to wait for quite a while and it wasn’t as spectacular a sunset as I thought it would be. Even though the sky was clear, there was only a slight pink tinge on the mountain but I took a few photos anyway. There were three other people there waiting with me, hoping to get some good shots of the sunset. They were very nice, mostly Indian and I got talking to them for a good while.
At about 7pm, I went to the Old Mountaineers Café and bumped into an English woman, called Jane, who I’d met at Fox Glacier. I stayed talking to her for a while and had a glass of wine, before we both left at about 9pm to head back to our respective accommodations for the night.