Franz Josef to Makarora

We head down the coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park and along the way see some breathtaking scenery including Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake. We also visit a waterfall and travel over a spectacular alpine pass. Once we arrive at the National Park there’s plenty of time to enjoy some of its activities including walking, scenic flights or jet boating (own expense). We spend the night in Chalets. (BD)

Haast River, haast pass hwy. mt aspiring national park.
25% of NZ is national park.
Pleasant flat – rest stop
Must see Thunder Creek Falls. Neat trick: stare at the waterfall for 30 sec, then look at the trees to the right. Then look at the falls for 45sec and then look at your palm.
Gates of haast bridge.
Central otigo region. Beach forest.
Blue pools.
Staying at the base of mt shrimpton in makarora. Nature walk.
No cell signal. Minimal wifi.

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Christchurch, NZ to Franz Josef

Minimal wifi here. So everything will be in fragments. Got shuttled to the Christchurch airport by the hotel (again, super nice!). Got picked up by the Stray bus. 4 gals on the trip: 2 from Ireland, 1 from Poland.
Christchurch – 6.3 earthquake in central city 2011. Killed 200 people. 4.5 million people in NZ.
Canterbury plains – 300km. Dairy farms.
Springfield – donut. Joke with Homer Simpson.
Castle hill – lord of the rings, Narnia. Rock formations made of limestone.
Arthur’s pass village – lunch stop. Got a sausage pie and tried the NZ lemonade. Saw a kea – the alpine parrot.
Entering Westland
Kumara – small town.
Farm land abuts ocean.
West coast – coal mining.
Hokitika – jade.
Ross – small gold mining town. 90oz gold nugget.
West coast gets a lot of rain. Many one lane bridges for flooding. Rain forests.
Lake Ianthe – glacial lake
Hari hari – landing of first ever flight from Australia (Sydney). Crash landing.
Mt Hercules – hill. 8km.
Franz Josef – named after the emperor of Austria
HH in Franz Josef – beer tasting of Spring and Fern from Nelson: Pilsner, raspberry cidre, porter, lager, and ipa. Cider and tesmin lager were best. Followed closely by non-hoppy ipa. Dinner at 7p. Doing the heli glacier hike tomorrow! 😊