Southern Scenic Road and the West Coast, NZ
Hope everyone is well and that the weather is better than it is here. We have had rain, almost non-stop now, for 6 days. Luckily the forecast says that it should improve now so fingers crossed.
So we left you last time just before our scenic southern drive. The first day was quite cool. We went up to nugget point, a lighthouse where you can look both ways up the coast and we saw hundreds of new Zealand fur seals. They weren’t close enough to get good pictures, but luckily a guy also up there had some binoculars he let us borrow so we could see them really well. We then went down to roaring bay on the look out for penguins and saw one yellow eyed penguin on the hill but again he was too quick for us to get a photo. The next day we continued our search visiting a few more bays but were far less successful. We saw no animals, but we saw the fossilised forest where you could see the trees in the rock.
The next day we travelled up to Milford sound but the rain began so it wasn’t looking like the ideal day. The information centre said the weather wouldn’t get better though so we decided to go for it anyway. Unfortunately 90km up the road (only 30km from Milford sound) they had decided that conditions were so bad that the road needed to be closed. So we headed up to Queenstown in the hope of coming back over the next few days.
In Queenstown we wanted to find Chris’s housemates from Uni as we knew they were there-somewhere. So we went round all the accommodation and finally found them at Nomads. The rain was relentless and so we spent the next 2 days with them eating some good food in pubs and ice skating. The road to Milford sound remained closed until our last day when it opened at 11. We wouldn’t make it in time for the last trip but if we went that afternoon we just about had time to do it the next morning and still make it up to Franz Josef glaciers.
The drive to Milford sound was amazing-0the rain had meant the waterfalls were incredible. The trip itself was also really good. We couldn’t see too far as it was cloudy but the waterfalls were spectacular and we saw 2 dolphins and a fur seal-and this time we got a photo of the seal.
We drove the long drive up to the Fox Glacier and arrive4d at 8 at night so found a place to sleep. The next morning it was still raining and the Fox glacier tours had been stopped. Luckily they reopened the Franz Joseph climb that day so we went on the half day hike there and it really was incredible. The cloud lifted for most of it so that we could see everything and although it rained maybe a quarter of the time, the ice looked beautiful and climbing on a glacier, through little cravases was awesome. We had a really good day. We also visited Lake Matheson in the morning which usually had spectacular views of the mountains-unfortunately all we saw was cloud-but the glacier made up for it!
Today we drove up to Nelson to go to Abel Tasman national park tomorrow. We stopped at Hokitika Gorge on the way which was cool but not as beautiful as the photos as the rain had made the water so murky. But hopefully tomorrow we should have sun back!! up some photos as the scenery here really is stunning, but unfortunately this internet cafe doesn’t have the program we need-but hopefully soon!
Hope everything is going well at home and particularly hope Paul gets well soon (don’t want to panic everyone-hes now fine but was knocked of his pushbike by a car at a roundabout about 1week ago-nothings broken though). Anyways enough talking from us I think chat soon, take care and miss you lots-only 2 months to go till we’re back home.
Lots of love
Katie and Chris xxx
We are itching to put