Tuesday, 21 February 2017

New Zealand - Day 6 - Franz Josef

Time to leave Queenstown and head to Franz Joseph..
Long drive but a gorgeous one at that..many places to stop and check out their countless waterfalls and streams/rivers etc.. A few stops along the way too..
One of the first places we stopped at was Haast.. how beautiful are these waterways...

 Fog between the mountains...

 Just can not stop taking photos of the water - would love to play here for a while..

 Pretty orange lichen on the rock.
 Some pretty flowers..
 and weeds.. well thistles - I thought they were pretty..
 Trying to be artistic and capture the water in the background with the thistles in front... I love this photo...

 Gorgeous ancient trees..
 Waterfalls - something Southern New Zealand has no shortage of..  this one was falling into a pool at the base of the fall and then would trickle/run  out into the stream..
 I love this area - so pretty, hence lots of photos..

 Can you see the pool at the base of the waterfall..

 Exploring down below...

Franz Joseph was the town we were going to spend the night at..its a beautiful little, and I mean, little town that sees a lot of people coming and going on a regular basis.  The is a walk here that will take you to see the glacier itself but the walk takes ages and I was keen for a rest at the motel.. Will add this to my bucket list..
I have put a lot of thought into our trip and I was trying to decide which, out of the whole trip, did I love the most and I would have to say it was in this town..
Accommodation booking ahead is a necessity for this place and luckily Wayne's sister had booked ahead for us.  It was just your normal little motel but we felt right at home straight away..  The receptionist, upon arrival, invited us to go on a glow worm walk later that night.  Cool - we would be up for it, but first check in, relax and look around.   Wayne, Fran and Ross went for a drive and a trek to see the Glacier - I chose to rest.  Wayne did tell me it was a long walk and you cannot get very close to the glacier so he was a little disappointed as he would love to have gotten closer.  Glad I didn't go as I much appreciated some 'my time'.  While he was gone, the owner of the Motel came knocking on my door - holding a basket full of these freshly baked humungous scones.  These were complementary and although I did get one for Wayne, I was thinking how delicious they were and if he didn't come back soon that I would just have to eat his too.. After all it was going cold..
Drat - he came back too soon for my evil plan...
We then took a stroll around town - one line of shops with mountains behind - how pretty..

 A kiwi statue...
 The extinct Moa statues - slightly bigger than the kiwi...lol
 Looking up town...

 Looking out of town..
 We didn't realise that just behind this street was a place that had Hot Springs in which you could rest ones tired self in...damn - would have loved this but alas - on the bucket list..
Pretty native ferns left on our pillows at the motel..
 Now I get to the incident that impacted me most on our holiday...I have no photos, just the memory of the event..
That evening, we met up with the receptionist of the Motel, along with some other patrons, and she led us on one of the most amazing walks ever. 
I hope I can relay what I experienced in a way that you might feel it too.. so hear goes.
It was drizzling a little so we had our umbrellas up and some of us had our phone/lights on - not us..
We walked for maybe 6 minutes up the road, towards the rainforest.  There was a gate we walked through and proceeded up a wide path (no  potholes etc) for about 20 metres and into the forest.   Then we stopped..
Our guide - Katie - asked those with lights to turn them off so our eyes would adjust to the darkness..
And there we stood - in silence, in the darkness, the sound of the rain drizzling on the leaves of the plants, the sounds of the insects etc singing and all around us were a thousand glow worms.  It was like someone was playing a joke on us and had strung fairy lights in the bush.  No cave, just bush..
It was, to me, like experiencing Mother Nature at her very best... and this, I don't know , 30 minutes will stay with me forever..  What a reminder that we don't need much in life, and at how beautiful life is when you stop and look.  We will be back...
That's all today.

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