My lovely Mazda teleported me over Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast, and I spent a night in Greymouth in a rather splendid motel unit with 5 rooms including a private jacuzzi. Heading down the coast next day I stopped at Franz Joseph glacier which extends to within a few miles of the sea, then Fox Glacier (nothing to do with the mints) a few miles further south. Franz was the more impressive of the two I think, and I went right up to the end of it and climbed a little way up the ice itself. You’re not meant to do this of course (sorry Mum!) as indicated by the signs reading “Pass these ropes and there is a high likelihood you will die” or words to that effect, but whilst there’s plenty of rocks falling everywhere it’s fine as long as you don’t get too close to anything tall. The cynic in me thinks that they partly say this in order to get you to go on their guided trips up the ice, but anyway…. It was well worth it though, as you get to hear the thing cracking and groaning, which in conjunction with the falling rocks definitely lets you know it’s alive.
Stayed last night in Wanaka a little way north of Queenstown, and this morning I drove over the somewhat hairy mountain pass to Queenstown itself where I am now. It’s strange to see all the snow capped moutains at such close range, but it’s not too cold, at town level it has been just over freezing even in the evenings.
I’m now debating what to do next, it would be nice to spend a party night in Queenstown, but I may press on further south to Te Auna (or something) which is a closer striking distance to Milford Sound.