Wanaka to Franz Josef – a long day


An error today, not happy about that

Just about pumped petrol into the bus this morning. Was ever so close when the attendant spotted me. I have had diesel vehicles for over 30 years and have never done that before. A wake up call that exhaustion/tiredness is creeping in.

Just 3 days to go on this tour then fly back to Auckland then drive the 4.5 hours home to the far north and bed for a full 3 days I think. Reality is that is highly unlikely to happen but that’s the way I feel right now, Kicking myself all day as I drove from Wanaka through to Franz Josef. Just not like me.

We had a great day the fuel episode aside though as we drove from Wanaka to Franz Josef. Stops beside Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka as we headed towards the Haast Pass. Then a toilet stop at the rest area just past Makora before the real scenic part started.

Today I did not leave the bus much for photography as all the main stops were just so busy with tourists. I guess it is kiwi summer holidays then add the international tourists. So for security plus sometimes parking issues I stayed in the bus. Its not that I have not photographed all places we visited many times before, but I like to capture my tour group enjoying the scenery they see. So not many photographs to show for a full day on the road.

First stop was Fantail Falls followed by the other falls and of course Haast Bridge otherwise known as the gateway to Haast.

Mosquito’s did not disappoint. Fortunately I made sure the group exited the bus relatively fast each time so I could shut the bus up. I made sure all sprayed themselves with the repellent I carried and I know all were very grateful.

The Westland Salmon Café for lunch. It may be very remote but it never disappoints and service with a smile. Normally I have the Salmon Chowder but today I opted for the Salmon Pasta. It did not disappoint.

Never had 2 nights at Franz Josef before so this tour is a little different in that regard. Tomorrow morning off early to Okiarito (probably spelt that wrong) for a couple of hours kayaking or boating in the lagoon to view the wild life. Half have opted for the kayak experience, the other half will accompany me on the boat.

The afternoon we have one heading away for the experience of flying on a helicopter to the glacier then a half walk over the glacier. His first time he tells me to experience a helicopter so he is for a double thrill. A helicopter trip plus a walk on the glacier.

The rest of us will do the one hour 40 minutes return walk to the nearest point to view Franz Josef Glacier. Every tour I swear I wont do these walks yet I always do. I guess they are good for me.

So tomorrow I have time to take many photographs. The boat trip on the lagoon to see white herons and other wild life is new for me so must make sure the camera is well charged.


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