There and back again: Shrek the sheep and Aoraki/Mount Cook

We drove out from Lake Wanaka and past Lake Hawea towards Tarras. Tarras was put on the map in 2004 when "Shrek the Sheep" was found in a cave, having avoided being sheared for six years! He became quite the sensation, being taken on tour before eventually being sheared in front of 200 people and on live television. There we stopped in the little store for some small souvenirs and an ice cream. Continuing on we stopped at a town called Twizel to get some information on Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and the dark sky reserve. This part of New Zealand has the world's largest dark sky reserve, which boasts the best stargazing...we decided to not stay the night though since we had some amazing nights before that.

When we got to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park we got some advice on how to not take too long of a hike but also get some great views. The little known trail, Red Tarns, was recommended to us and we were happy we did it. From the top we had a great view of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding mountains (the Southern Alps) and valleys. Truly stunning!

We drove until it got dark before we pitched camp at a campsite for the night in an area on the way to Arthur's Pass National Park.

[Some of Shrek's wool]

[Tarras cafe and country store]

[Driving towards Twizel]

[I had to take a picture of these beer cans that are 1 litre...HUGE]

[View of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park from Lake Pukaki - crazy blue color!]

[Lake Pukaki]

[View of the Southern Alps from our hike on the Red Tarns trail]

[Aoraki/Mount Cook is the first snow capped peak from the right.
It is New Zealand's highest mountain at 3,724 metres (12,218 feet)]

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