We left Greymouth this morning and headed down the West Coast to our next stop, Franz Josef. En route we visited Hokitika Gorge, which is a huge rocky ravine with a (usually) bright turquoise river running through. Because of all the rain we’ve had the last couple of days, the water was kind of chalkier than usual, but still looked amazing. We parked up and walked along the trail and over a very rickety swing bridge above the river. You could then climb up on to the rocks next to it and get a great view… and jump off if you are mental! It looked way too shallow and was definitely freezing in there. We took some pictures and then headed back to the car to carry on our journey to the glaciers.
We checked in to our hostel (Montrose Franz Josef) and did a bit of googling about a helicopter flight over the glaciers. We want to do this tomorrow but there’s some really bad weather (Cyclone Gita) on the way so we might get rained off!
In the afternoon we hiked up to the view point for Franz Josef. It’s crazy how much colder is once you get close to the ice… I was deffo not appropriately dressed! Wearing a vest, shorts and sandals while everyone else was kitted out in waterproofs and hiking boots.
We got come cool pictures of the glacier and the waterfalls & river that run off it, and then headed back in to town for dinner. Our hostel does free soup in the evenings but there was no bread to go with it so we were both still hungry! We got a (huge) hotdog that neither of us could finish, and played pool at a bar near where we are staying.
Overlooking the Hokitika River
Owen on the swing bridge
Hokitika Gorge – shame the water is so chalky
Waterfalls at Franz Josef
Franz Josef Glacier