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South Island West Coast

fun fun fun

Ferry over the Cook Straight with lovely sceneries. Bumped into the farmers again and we played cards. Once we docked into Picton on the south island, we jumped onto our next kiwi bus which had no one on it, but we did have our Cambridge buddies with us. By this point we had already decided to stay longer at our next stop so the amazing kiwi bus behind could catch us up :) so it was all good. Long journey over through Nelson and up to the Abel Tasman National Park in Kaiteriteri to be welcomed by the pouring down rain...
Chilled out for the night, we needed it after our late nights. the next day the sun was shining, up bright and early ready to do the walk along the coast of the Abel Tasman National Park. the sea was a bit rocky and the water taxi jet boat was flying over the waves. the walk was gorgeous though, beautiful blue water, amazing forestry landscape, and beaches. Although it did chuck it down half way through our walk and we got soaking wet. All fun and games i say. That eve our amazing bus arrived, had a few drinks in the big fat whale pub. the next day was gorgeous and we went to relax on the beach, had a bit of fun on the flying fox and then back onto the bus heading for Westport
Westport we didn’t do a great deal. Made a group lasagna, and learnt that if you put two layers of cheese through the lasagna, it tastes epic ( an American style). We then watched Zoolander in the coziest living room ever!!
Our next stop was the legendary poo bar in Lake Mahinapua. But before we arrived we had a few stop offs to do some walks, one of which were the pancake rocks...hmmmmm blowing gales, pouring down rain and in my opinion they lied about the pancakes lol, i just couldn’t see because of all the wind and rain so i felt a bit bitter.
Lake Mahinapua was in the middle of nowhere. There was a lake, and an old man, I think he was around 80 years of age, and a few huts with beds, toilets and a bar. The guy that owns it thrives off the backpackers and he probably wouldn’t survive without us. An epic hot cooked dinner consisting of the biggest slab of steak you have seen....then off to get ready for the fancy dress party. the theme was something that begins with the letter 'p' for poo bar. Since I wasn’t feeling adventurous and wanted to save pennies I decided to be a pussy cat haha. some of the costumes were brilliant though, people took a while thinking these ones through.
Back onto the bus bright and early the next day, still half drunk from the night before. But this day was taking us to the legendary glaciers of Franz Josef. However before we arrived we stopped off at the weirdest cafe/museum/shop thingy. very strange...it was a possum and deer museum. So anyway we watched a video playing to the soundtrack of top gun about the history of how New Zealand catches it deers...yeh a little interesting but i needed foooodddd.....so to the cafe and asked for a sausage sandwich . $10 bloody dollars and i am not to sure what meat the sausage was, but it did the trick and sorted me out.
Arrived in Franz Josef which was settled in the Westland National Park and did a short walk which lead us to a full frontal view of the awe striking glacier. Franz Josef was a beautiful little town, cute shallys and amazing sceneries of the Southern Alpes. Chilled out for the night, cheeky drink in the bar with a bit of snake and ladders.
The next day was our day to walk the Glacier, i could not wait and was so so excited woooo. This is one of the only places in the world where glaciers descend into the rainforest albeit one another. They gave us full on gear. We had to wear special boots to fit our crampons onto, thick jackets, hats and gloves. I looked a little silly. The walk was incredible. We climbed our way up through the glacier and through the ice caves. Since the glacier changes so quickly with melting and movements everyday the guide said that the glacier looked different everyday and they had to re carve the paths as they were going along. so as we were walking there was no set trail and in certain parts he had to hack step ways into the glaciers with his ax, it was brilliant to see. We reached the peninsula and the view was just incredible, like nothing i had ever seen before. i felt lucky to be able to experience this and see such beauty.
Once we arrived back to base straight to the hot pools it was. we got a free spa day by doing the glacier hike. ahhhhhhlush, perfect after our 6-8 hour hike up the glaciers. That night a brilliant prank was pulled on our awesome driver Lauren. One of the girls wrapped everything in her room in tin foil, it was brilliant and so funny. That night we also had our own personal firework show for bonfire night. Lauren the driver and the wildest girl ever stingray haha held the fireworks in their hand and just let them rip. bloody hilarious, definitely would not have this going on in England. Laughed so much and managed to get hold of a sparkler –happy days.

Posted by jessicajhunt 20:01 Archived in New Zealand

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