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New Zealand Trip Day 9 – Alexandra to Fox Glacier

100316 Alexandra to Fox Glacier

Experienced the morning madness that happens with three kids getting ready to catch the bus for school at Jane and Chris’s house, and then said our goodbyes.

Then it was off to catch up with another school mate of Brenda, Jean Gibson who Brenda only found out from Jane last night is living just outside of Cromwell!

Jean is living in a stone building originally built in the 1870’s. They’ve done cool things with it. They’re in the wine business and have an award winning pinot noir from their Lowburn Ferry Winery.

Around noon we headed out for the west coast of the South Island. The west coast is renowned for its rugged beauty, its sparse population and its rain.

We got the welcome home back to Oregon rain experience in spades.

Here’s Lake Hawea (Maori for “How are we today? Want a bikkie?”)

Just around the corner, literally, is Lake Wanaka (Maori for “A bikkie sounds good, could we also get a hot cuppa tea?”)

Not far down the road we stopped and ventured out into the rainstorm for a quick two minute walk (quick as in we made it in one minute) to Fantail Falls.

Hop back in the van, strip off the wet hoody, the wet Tevas, wipe off the glasses. Moments later we were at “The Gates of Haast”. It was raining pretty hard, so back on with the wet hoody, strap on the wet Tevas and venture out into the rain again.

“The Gates of Haast” is an amazing waterfall that is impossible to capture with a camera. Here is one small section of it. Those boulders are the size of a bus. Interesting bit of trivia: “The Gates of Haast” is only four gates away from “The Gates of Hell”. In this case it was well worth getting wet for the sight.

Strip off the wet hoody, the wet Tevas, wipe off the glass and…”for F**k’s sakes! Can’t they space these things out better?”

Note: Brenda almost wet her pants laughing when I blurted that out.

Thunder Falls is just around the corner and is a quick two minute (re. one minute in the rain) walk off the road and well worth the it so back on with the wet hoody, strap on the wet Tevas and get this photo:

Back to the van. Strip off the wet hoody, the wet Tevas, wipe off the glasses. Whoops, here’s Roaring Billy Falls. Stuff that! 🙂

We stopped in at Haast for some the famous white bait fritters and an early supper. We then made a quick stop at Bruce Bay to gawk at the white rocks stacked amongst the others. These stacks goes for a mile or so but I’m sure it’ll get wiped out when they next have high seas.

We drove by Lake Paringa (Maori for “only 23 more one lane bridges to cross before Fox Glacier”) but it was too wet outside to photograph.

We arrived at the town of Fox Glacier a bit worn out, and located the cheapest public accommodations yet. It’s a “backpackers” but would probably be called a flop house in the U.S. Never mind, you get what you pay for and the bed’s soft…

2 comments to New Zealand Trip Day 9 – Alexandra to Fox Glacier

  • First let me say. . .Wait Wait. . .is that Brenda in a dress. . .WOW she has legs!!And good ones at that!
    Second. . .Now Jon you know about waterfalls if you have ever hicked the Gorge, they are all one right after the other. So I am not surprised that NZ would have ones like that. But I will say they are Gorgeous. You lucky dog! Wet Dog.
    Third, are you atleast going to bring back some of that NZ Pinot Noir to share with us Oregonians?

  • Mark Fisher

    So what’s the Maori word for “Let’s stack some rocks?” Grin.

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