Mt. Cook

Milford was the most southerly destination we visited on our tour of the South Island; after departing, we started our drive north and popped in for a quick visit to Mt. Cook. New Zealand's tallest mountain, Cook is roughly equidistant between the two coasts and is subject to the rainy conditions of the western coast.  

Undeterred by a stormy forecast, we drove to he base of the mountain to do whatever exploring we could.

We loved Hooker Lake, with its blue steel water and wildflower shores. 

And check out this sweet view of the base of Mt. Cook: 

We were a little disappointed not to get to see the mountain in all its glory, but such is the nature of travel in New Zealand (one of our hosts at an AirBnB told us that if we're unwilling do something in the rain on the South Island, there's a good chance it just won't happen), so exploring Mt. Cook itself will be an adventure for another day.

We did do a short hike to the nearby Tasman Glacier, unique in that its base had formed a lake with large bergs of ice remaining in the water.