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July 30, 2014

Glacier Country

More from the NZ roadtrip. We managed to visit Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, as well as Lake Matheson, in one day. With the glaciers, you can either do a tour with a company which flies you onto the glacier itself via helicopter (pricey) or just walk up to the terminal face (which is what we did). I'd read somewhere that it rains a lot here, so we were lucky to have a sunny day.

First stop was Franz Josef. The walk across the valley takes a good while (about 40 minutes).

Luckily the scenery is pretty impressive.

In the end the walk to the viewing platform wasn't really worth it - this glacier is receding so you couldn't see much up close anyway.

We then drove down to the Fox Glacier township, and took a half an hour walk through a forested area...

To see Lake Matheson, famed for its reflective surface, with Mt Cook in the background.

To be honest? This is the one place on our whole trip that looked better in photos.

We soldiered on to Fox Glacier. For a sense of scale, check out the group of people standing by the river!

The walk up to this glacier was a bit more challenging.

But more worth it than Franz Josef, I'd say. Again, look for the people on the ice at the bottom right, it was massive.

We hadn't eaten all day so we passed by this cute bakery in Franz Josef we'd bought breakfast from earlier in the day.

Sunset as we drove to the town we'd stay at for the night.

July 23, 2014

Three from today

daniel wellington oxford
The basketball court next to Broadway shopping centre / Lemon meringue pie from La Banette Patisserie in Glebe. It was good but I couldn't finish it / It's been too warm for this coat but I'm forcing myself into it anyway. My Daniel Wellington watch has been lying around unloved because this year I've turned into a lazy slob who doesn't check the time anymore.

Just a break from the NZ posts because I'm getting sick of all the photo editing! I haven't been doing much since I got back because I was unwell for a couple of days, and I'm trying to catch up on some work I should've done back when I went into holiday mode early over the World Cup.

July 19, 2014

Queenstown to Franz Josef

Rolling on with my NZ roadtrip posts. The thing with the South Island of New Zealand is that driving is not a very big chore, because the scenery is so beautiful. The drive between Queenstown and Franz Josef is about 5 to 6 hours, but we decided to make a day of it so that we could make as many scenic stops as we wanted.

The quickest way to Wanaka (a town in between) is over the Crown Range Road, which is the highest sealed road in New Zealand.

It's winding and fun to drive, and you get great views back over Queenstown and of the mountains themselves.

We then arrived in Wanaka, on the shores of beautiful Lake Wanaka, and had an early lunch.

fjallraven kanken mountains

We continued on our route, which took us around the edge of Lake Hawea.

Photo courtesy of Wai Lam.

We drove over the Southern Alps to the West Coast, getting held up at two separate rockfalls, and on the way the sunshine had turned into snow and then rain and fog.

So after a long day of driving, we arrived in Franz Josef - Glacier Country! More on that in the next post.

July 16, 2014

Milford Sound

Continuation of my New Zealand posts. The reason why we'd driven down to Te Anau was so we could stay the night and then drive to Milford Sound in the morning. Milford Sound is actually a fjord (an inlet cut out by a glacier), and it was called the eighth wonder of the world by Rudyard Kipling. The drive between Te Anau and Milford Sound is also known as one of the most beautiful road trips in the world, which is the reason why we'd wanted to drive it ourselves instead of taking a coach - more freedom to stop along the way and admire.

We started from Te Anau as early as we could after the sun had come up, hoping the ice would have melted. We ended up waiting at a checkpoint for about half an hour anyway, as the lady there said there was still black ice on the roads.

A beautiful place we stopped at.

Excuse my rudeness for not having introduced my travel buddies yet - Tina (fellow driver), Wai Lam and Jenny (lazy unlicensed leeches).

The scenery changes a lot throughout the drive - from forested areas to snow fields, and then winding through mountains.

We had booked a cruise on Milford Sound, which is the main way to see it.

Freezing cold but we stayed outside the whole time. Apparently it's usually raining here.

To get an idea of the scale of this place - look for the boat in this picture.

We then drove all the way back to Queenstown to stay the night there again...

And rewarded ourselves with burgers from The Find (a cute bar) for surviving the long day.