Fox Glacier - Haast.

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
Trip End Jul 23, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , West Coast,
Sunday, April 14, 2013

Well, we had a great nights sleep in Cabin 53. We woke around 08:00 and I made us a cooked breakfast. We were away from the campsite and on the road just after 10:00.

We had been advised that the weather was only due to stay fine in the morning, so we drove straight toward Fox Glacier. We had looked at the various options for viewing the Glacier and decided we would walk the access route which would take us within 200 metres of the glacier face. On the way to the access walk we passed magnificent lakes of aquamarine meltwaters, really quite stunning. We could also see the snowy tip of Mount Cook in the distance.

The walk to the viewpoint was invigorating ( knackering). The air was wonderful and fresh and the weather stayed fine. It took just over and hour to climb to the viewpoint but once there we were rewarded with the most spectacular view of the glacier. At 13kms, Fox Glacier is the longest of the awe-inspiring New Zealand West Coast glaciers. At its head, soaring peaks of over 3,000m (10,000ft) dominate the vista; these include Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. This mighty moving river of ice falls 2,600 metres, or a little over 8,000ft, on its journey from the base of the Southern Alps to the West Coast.

The weather stayed good and we were able to get some nice photos. The walk back from Fox Glacier was mostly downhill so much easier, even so, I managed to slip a couple of times on the damp shingle.

Once back in the town we popped into a souvenir where I bought some coasters and Terry bought a handy solar powered torch for Elvis. Afterward we crossed the road to a cafe for two flat whites and some sweet snacks.

We drove a short distance out of the town to Lake Matheson, where we set out for a 7 km scenic walk which would take us around the lake. There were designated areas to stop on the way to rest or take photos, and a short distance from the start, we found the first one situated near to the lakes edge. Terry took a seat at the picnic table then decided to move to the opposite bench, as the bench he was sitting on was very near to the edge of the sloping bank of the lake. I had followed him, but had not sat down but as I turned I lost my foothold and partially slipped down the bank toward the lake. I managed to grab hold of a fern to stop me falling any further and called out for Terry to help, but he was too busy laughing and recording me struggling to get back up the bank myself. As if that wasn't bad enough, when I did finally get myself up and to the 'safe' bench, I sat down right on a puddle of something and had a wet backside for the duration of the walk.

After the walk we visited the information centre for more coffees. I bought some postcards and stamps and Terry almost bought a t shirt.

We set off toward Haast around 17:00. We checked Elvis into the Top 10 campsite then drove a short distance to a nearby restaurant, which was attached to a Hotel. Everything about it was awful, the staff were snappy and stressed and the food mediocre. There wasn't an ambience and I was glad to see the back of it.

We returned to the campsite and Skyped Andrew who bought us up to date with Finn's progress after which we retired for the night. It had been another eventful day.
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heidi on

fascinating pictures! keep them up :) hope you're both well! love to you both xx

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