Jul 18, 2011
Aug 17, 2011
We parked the campervan in the main car park at Franz Josef and made ready for our walk when a man pointed to the roof and said "have you seen that" we immediately though "oh God what have we done now" when much to our relief we found that Cassie had made a friend - a NZ Kea - who was merrily trying to bite his way in.
After the walk we drove on over much nicer mountain passes - and finally arrived in Hokitika - the biggest town we have seen so far since Christchurch.
Today we were supposed to take a helicopter up to the Fox Glacier and then go for a hike on the ice however the weather was not good - pouring with rain and low cloud prevented us from doing this - we went to Franz Josef instead and did a walk which took us to the bottom of the glacier - not the same but better than nothing as no trips were happening. It was very interesting walking to the glacier as the route went over a river bed which inexplicably was dry considering how wet this side of the country is and the amount of water falls (we even played dodgems with some along the road to the glacier) every few hundred yards along the mountains, a lot of the riverbeds were either sparsely wet or completely dry. On our trip to Milford the other day the driver even told us they measure the rainfall in metres not centimetres - so where does all the water go if not too the rivers?? As we were nearing the bottom of the glacier we heard a very loud crashing noise like thunder - we were just in time to see some of the ice which had built up around the mouth of the glacier falling from the roof - it was really spectacular, unfortunately we didn't capture it on film