Wow this trip is going quick! this time, we’ve seen the glaciers (the last thing on our to do list for this side of the island!) and said farewell to the West Coast. It sure has left an impression on us – mostly for how green and untouched it is, but I think I’m going to be swatting sandflies in my sleep for the next few months! So goodbye West Coast. Hello Central Otago Lakes!
Westland National Park is home to a huge number of birds
We were on our way to see the glaciers – unsure how much we’d be able to see with the cloud like this
We drove up to Franz Josef, the top of the glacier was covered in cloud, but we could still see it
It had rained quite a bit the night before, so there were plenty of waterfalls. Oh, that’s me in the red coat!
The walking tracks to the glaciers are peppered with warning signs
But after 45 minutes along the glacier river, we get to the viewing platform
It’s hard to read, but the key point here is that only a few years ago, the glacier stretched all the way down to where we were standing!
Luckily, I’d brought along my zoomiest lens, so with it at maximum, I could see right to the tippy top
We ventured on to Fox Glacier, but the weather had turned against us. So instead we walked all the way around Lake Matheson – usually famed for its brilliant reflections.
We knew we’d made the right call to delay Fox Glacier til the next day when we woke up to this!
This sign was approximately 2 km away from the carpark… and after that it was another half hour walk to the viewing platform. That’s a lot of change!
There was a perfectly still, clear pond along the road.
Fox is much bigger than Franz Josef
The track crosses a few streams
And then becomes VERY steep
There’s actually a few people on the terminal face here – you might be able to make out the shapes, and the ice steps they’ve cut in.
It’s hard to appreciate the size of the glacier from a photo. Best to see it before it disappears altogether!
And on to Haast. Apparently this is the largest one lane bridge in NZ
We had a short stop in Haast and then straight over the Haast Pass to Wanaka
Where we spent a good amount of time in the sun, enjoying a cold (ish) drink at the lakefront