West Coast And Fox Glacier
Soon after I was finished with my epic ride in a Tiger Moth, it was time to get on the road for a long drive to (and up) the west coast to Fox Glaicer. Andi and Fishy joined me once again and, once again, the weather was not cooperating. Low clouds and rain pretty much stuck with us for the next three days as we made our way up the coast.
We arrived to Fox Glacier Inn late in the evening and split up the next morning. I was going to do a full day glacier hike while Andi and Fishy did the half day tour, which turned out to be a lot less exciting, so I was pleased with my choice, even thought it was a bit more expensive.
I decided to hike the Fox Glacier instead of the nearby Franz Joseph Glaicier primarily because Fox is less crowded and the guides on full day trips do not follow a set-up route, but rather take the groups to various spots, making up the route as they go. It turned out to be quite an experience. With some heavy duty crampons over our boots, we were able to go all the way up to the 'turbulent' portion of the glacier after walking through the flatter portions at the bottom.
We also stumbled upon a few holes and passages in the glacier, making it even more exciting.
On our way back, the weather turned from cloudy to rainy yet again and I was sure glad to have all the rental gear (included in tour price) protecting my clothes from getting wet and cold. Seriously, what is up with the weather around here?
North Up The West Coast
As we got done with our glacier walks, we made another mad dash up the coast to Greymouth. The weather was terrible, so there was no point of wasting our time at Franz Joseph or anywhere else along the coast. For the same reason, I decided to continue next day to Motueka near the Abel Tasman national park, even though I was pretty sick of driving over the last few days.
At the Neptune Backpackers in Greymouth, I bid farewell to Andi and Fishy and picked up a couple french girls and Timon from Germany for the ride to Motueka the next day. While the weather was still not cooperating, the drive from Greymouth to Westport followed the coast pretty closely in most places, unlike the portions of the drive down south where there were just a handful of lookout points. We ended up checking out the pancake rocks and the blowholes during high tide as well as 'the most scenic viewpoint' before turning in-land.
Finally, as we got close to Motueka, the rain gave way to some sunshine and the clouds started disappearing. The forecast called for three solid days of good weather so I decided to join Timon and his friend for a three day hike through Abel Tasman.