Leaving Abel Tasman in beautiful sunshine, it didn’t take long for the weather to change for the worse… We were headed towards the West coast of the South Island, the first stop being Westport and after that 2 nights in Franz Josef near the glacier.
As most of this is covered by rainforest, the rain wasn’t really a surprise. But we had hoped it would stop at some point at least 😉 In Westport it didn’t, which is why we mainly holed up in the tv room and next to the fireplace. There would have been a nice coastal walk with a lighthouse, but it didn’t happen in the pouring rain…
The next morning we headed towards Franz Josef, stopping first in Punakaiki for the Pancake Rocks – still with a little drizzle, but the sun came out a little later 🙂 We spent a nice hour or two in the cafe there before our driver took us to Greymouth for some shopping and free time. We visited Warehouse and Countdown to stock up and then had a small lunch in a coffeehouse with free Wifi 😉
After Greymouth, we went through a lot of weather again – sun, rain, sun, rain… Even when we arrived in Franz Josef, this persisted. While the others were in the office to sort out their glacier visits, we who stayed in the bus had rain, a rainbow and then sunshine. Check-in took a little while, but we got a nice 4-dorm and settled in. After dinner we had some drinks in the bar belonging to the hostel 🙂
The next day most of the others had activities booked, heli hikes and skydives, but I wanted a lie-in and a calm day. Didn’t really want to spend so much money just to see the glacier (I don’t do cold!), rather have my eye on a 1940s style flight in Wanaka. Think Snoopy in his aviator outfit – that’ll be me hopefully 😉
Instead of crazy stuff, I went to the local hot pools and booked a massage there 🙂 As that was not for another two hours, I decided to get some nice breakfast instead of my routine muesli and yoghurt. Nice it was, pancakes with fruit and good coffee 🙂
The massage was absolutely great, she did a good job and I no longer feel like my shoulders are up by my ears 🙂 We’ll see how long it lasts, but it might be something to do when I have longer stops in other places!
After the massage, I had a 90 minutes pass to use the hot pools as well. Those were outdoors, under big sail-like roofs that allowed a nice view of the flora and fauna and the mountains around. Three pools, 36, 38 and 40 degrees warm and beautifully designed – I was in heaven and made good use of my time 🙂
Now I’m trying to organise the next bits of my travels, staying longer in Mount Cook and what was Edoras in LOTR for starters 🙂 Made a rough plan for the rest of the trip and it seems I will have a full week in Wellington after it. Any accommodation ideas there or in Rotorua would be much appreciated! 🙂
The trip to the South Pacific has been cancelled due to New Zealand offering so much – but it’ll wait and I get there another time 😉 Due to the weather, the number of pictures I took so far is minimal and also not really worth showing… sorry about that!