Location: Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier and the drive north to Abel Tasman – New Zealand South Island
Highlight: Scenery at Franz Josef Glacier
Time for us to see what the glacier fuss is all about!
We arrived in Fox Glacier in the early morning, and caught the sun rising up through the mountains.
“Do not proceed without sturdy footwear” we were warned. “Pfft, we’ve been wearing flip flops all the way through Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines… we’ll be fine.” we thought. It was a tougher climb than we’d anticipated, but now that we feel we’re seasoned travelers nothing can get to us!
We climbed for an hour across rocky terrain to see a rather underwhelming glacier:
What amused me was that we had to view from afar in case it suddenly melted and came crashing down… but it was so small and far away from the viewing point that it felt like a bit of a health and safety overkill. It does grow in winter I understand, and it used to be bigger some years ago, but even still…
Franz Josef was a bit more like it though; a cool trek with interesting coloured rocks around us:
Waterfalls and running streams:
… though once again the main attraction was quite far away and not as spectacular as I had hoped.
I did enjoy it from a geological standpoint though, there were some strange and wonderful textures in the rocks. If I produced an indie rock record, this would be the album cover:
On our way up to the north of the south island, we stopped at Hokitika for fish and chips and to visit an eerily milky blue lake:
Our experience there was a short one as our mortal enemies were back to haunt us – the SANDFLIES. We half ran along the path (awkwardly avoiding the glare from 2 girls that Simon accidentally honked at while we driving behind them), arrived at the lake, took some photos and legged it back to the safety of our vehicle. Insect repellent only goes so far, and these blighters will go for you anyway, no matter how much you cover yourself in it.
Another night, another free campsite with another flowing stream running through it.
Via a quick stop in Greymouth, we made it up to Abel Tasman national park for kayaking and beaching activities, which will be the final blog on our time on the South Island.
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Late 20’s Crisis