Queenstown to Punakaiki

Today we traveled from Queenstown through Arrowtown and the Haast River Canyon to Fox Glacier.  Arrowtown was a cute little town but we arrived so early, it was completely deserted!  

Father and Daughter in deserted Arrowtown
We stopped for views over Lake Wanaka before stopping for a highlight of the day, the Haast River Safari jet boat ride.  We sped and spun down the Haast River Canyon stopping often to take in the view.  This video will give you a little taste of the excitement.  New Zealand is famous for the invention of the jet boat and you can find these high speed adventures in most cities around the country.  

Lake Wanaka
The water in Haast River was an unbelievable blue color.  Our guide informed us this was due to the lack of rain this summer.
The Haast River Safari jet boat

Jet boat doing a spin
We ended the day with a quick view of our first glacier, the Fox glacier before spending a relaxing evening in the little town of Fox Glacier.  We had a beautiful hotel with views over the mountains.  

View from our room
The next morning we all set out to view the Franz Josef Glacier.  M joined us to the first viewing platform before returning to town for some much needed shopping!  J, D and I continued on the hike to final viewing platform.  From there, we could see the glacier up close and see where it melted/merged into the river.  We were not allowed to get too close or climb on the glacier as it has recently been unstable. 

Lindsay with ice bridge in the background

View of the beginning of the Franz Josef Glacier....hard to see scale in this shot
The hiking crew
If you enlarge this one, you can see the helicopter in the bottom right of the part of the glacier lite by the sun
We stopped in Hokitika and J&I explored the beach while M&D visited the jade factory.  Our tour ended the day in Punakaiki at my favorite hotel of the trip, the Punakaiki Resort right on the beach.  We had a great dinner looking out over the ocean and then watched the sunset from the beach while our men skipped rocks in the surf.  We slept with the windows open listening to the waves.  It was at this hotel that we officially became known as "the 20 year old American couple".  I'll take it.   

Parents on the beach

Sunset in front of our resort
The Punakaiki Resort
The men skipping rocks


CrazyUncle said...

Where to begin? I think I'll start at the end and work backwards. The skipping rocks photo doesn't look like throwing rocks into the water. I see D throwing them at J and him running away.

So when you were in Hot Kitty, you didn't tour the jade factory? You've seen plenty of beaches. How many jade factories are there? Did the folks buy anything?

Is the helicopter really tiny in comparison to the photo? I think I see it, but I am not sure.

I do see the beginning of the glacier. I guess it is named after the famous composer Franz Josef Glacier, although his music leaves me a little cold.

LWW, I notice that you are making a little bridge with your arm as you pose in front of the ice bridge. Very photographically clever (that sounds a little like an epithet, doesn't it?).

If the blue in the Haast River is because of a lack of rain, what color is it in wet times? Green? Black?

At least you had a chance to get a nice photo in Arrowcity before the crowds rolled in. You know how crazy busy it gets between 10:30am and 10:47am.