Today we leave Haast and are travelling to unknown destination and will see where we get :) Just out if Haast you come to the Haast river bridge which seems to go on for ever at 737 metres (2,418 ft) it is the longest one-lane road bridge in New Zealand, and the 7th longest New Zealand bridge overall. It has 2 passing bays on it and you have to admire the truckies who drive over it with tandem trailers. After we stopped and took some pics we continued on to Ship Creek where you can do the Dune Lake Walk and there is a little viewing tower you can climb up and get a great vantage over the surrounding area. The waves were crashing onto the beach and the stream was travelling quite fast and our Son had great delight throwing drift wood in and following it till it hit the crashing waves. The beach is littered with washed up trees and and large pebbles instead of sand that we are used to.
We then moved onto Fox Glacier where we walled the track out to the Glacier viewing platform which takes about 45 min each way with a few very steep sections where can tell without a doubt you have lungs :) I had a few breaks along the way and finally made it to the viewing platform. From the platform you can see the glacier and also look down to see how far the glacier has receded over the years from markers in the ground. It just goes to show you how global warming is effecting nature and every year it seems to be getting worse. I fear Mother Nature will say enough is enough one day and give us a wake up call :)
We decided to try to get to Lake Matherson, which is a turn off just before you leave Fox Glacier and is 6 klms out, and we made it out there and started to walk but decided to turn back and it was quite a walk to get any decent shot and we wanted to get to Frans Joseph for the night. We left the car park and made the 30 odd klms trip to Frans Joseph and pulled into a top 10 caravan park that we had stayed in 15 years ago on our first trip to NZ. There is a good facilities there and also a games room where my Son challenged me to a game of pool which he lost, so we had another :)
Today we are heading for Hokitika which is a lovely little town on the way up the West Coast and one which we still remember for 15 years ago.
We headed out of town then stopped at a few lookouts before coming to Lake Wahapo which is a DOC camp with toilets only that you can camp over night in a motor home. It was very misty when we arrived and made for a mystical image. We then continued on to Lake Lanthe which I believe you can camp at also with both locations having little wharf's to photograph.
We then continued onto Hokitika where was had some house keeping chores to do like get gas, shopping and fuel. We had lunch in our motor home on the water front and then made the drive to Hokitika Gorge which is about 33 klms out of town and it was getting late so off we went. We made it there about and hour before dark and is is a magical place with little birds that just fly up to you and say hello and fly away. It's an easy walk down to the gorge and the water is a magical blue and very very clear.
We headed back into town after our visit to the gorge and decided to stay at the Shinning Star motor home park where you get a free 1 GB of internet and they will give you more for free if you run out. An added bonus to staying here if the Glow Worm Dell just across the road from the park. As you walk in to the darkness with your torch along the 50 meter walk in, when you turn your torch off you can see all the glow worms as your eyes adjust. After some dinner and a shower we were off to bed and ready for bacon and eggs in the morning :)