Two days in Kaikoura was enough, so I headed back to the west coast, via Arthur’s Pass. There are too many mountain pass roads on the South Island to just stick to the coast, so some zigzagging is on my agenda.
I made my way down the west coast, to check out the Franz Josef Glacier.
The weather wasn’t perfect, but what you can do…in some ways, the haziness and light rain gave the area a different feel (though not necessarily better or worse) than I’m sure you’d get on a clear, sunny day.
Over the past few million years, the mountains in the area (which are the fastest growing mountains in the world) would have grown over 20 kilometers, if it weren’t for the fact that they’ve been almost constantly ground down by glaciers and eroded by the heavy rainfall.
The glacier itself
And the view back down the valley
This kea (which is the largest species of parrot) was hanging out along the trail, and pretty comfortable considering how much traffic was around. Apparently it’s used to all the traffic, and was probably wonder why I wasn’t feeding it.
I hiked up to this lake, which is supposed to be a great way to view the glacier from afar. Turns out I just got a lovely view of the fog.
Now we are talking. Spent a lot of time in FJ – one of the posts I wrote is shown below. As for the Kea’s, they are cheeky chaps, well-known for pinching motorbike keys right out the ignition switch, beware!
Ha! I’ll have to keep a close eye on my key…good to know!