Monday, May 15, 2017

Franz Josef Glacier

We made our way from the train station in Greymouth to the town of Franz Josef where we spent the night in a motel reminiscent of the motor lodges in the US circa 1960s. The interior decor was quite modern, however. The location was a quick drive to the Westland Tai Poutini National Park the next morning.


Located within the national park is the Franz Josef Glacier, a 7.5 mile long temperate maritime glacier. It took us about three hours to make the round-trip hike to the foot of the glacier, but that was mostly because we stopped to take a lot of photos along the way. It was gorgeous, and we had beautiful weather.

We grabbed some food to go from a grocery store and then continued on our southbound route heading to Queenstown. Though normally a four to five hour drive from Franz Josef, the scenery along the way just begs you to pull over.

The last hour of the drive was on Highway 84, a road that puts the twist in the word twisties. I don't think any of us had been on a road that had that many hairpin turns. I think it might have been a blessing that it was dark and we couldn't see what was on the other side. We are only in Queenstown for one night, so we will explore the town a bit today before heading to Te Anau.

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