Thursday, Jan 28, 2016
It had been a comfortable 12 C ( 56 F) overnight. We had cereal for breakfast, before starting the drive to the Franz Josef Glazier.
As we drove along the highway, it quickly became obvious that we were in a rainforest. We stopped at Ship Creek lookout to do the Kahikatea Swamp Forest Walk. We weren’t sure whether we wanted to do the walk, but afterwards, we were very glad that we did. The first thing I saw was these black swans.
As I continued, I walked into a different world.
The large trees are called Kahikatea by the Maori and they grow to 55 meters ( 180 ft ) height and 1 meter ( 3 ft ) in diameter, although they have known to be 80 meters ( 250 ft ) tall and 2 meters ( 6 ft ) in diameter. Because the wood of these trees is clean, light-weight and doesn’t impart an odour, it was used to make boxes for exporting butter.
On my way out of the forest, I noticed this bird, drying his wings on the far bank of the river that flowed out to the Tasman Sea.
One of the things that is different here is that there are a few different traffic signs than we don’t have. Because they have a lot of one-lane bridges, they had to come up with a way to direct traffic over them.
This sign means that you have the right of way unless someone is already entering or on the bridge.
And this sign means that you do not have the right of way across the bridge and you have to yield to oncoming traffic.
We continued our drive until we came to Fox Glazier. We hiked up to the glazier and I took a picture of Cheryl in front of it.
We then drove into town and stopped at a cafe for some planing while we had a delicious lunch of potato and leek soup and a small plate of a few large, thick fries with aioli sauce.
We then went to the Top 10 Holiday Park nearby and secured a campsite. This is by far the nicest park we have been to yet. The lady there also suggested that I become a Top 10 member for $49 ( for 2 years ) because it would give me 10% off at all Top 10 parks, free internet, 10% off for fuel, 10% off of the $280 ferry ride to the North Island that we would be taking next week, as well as other savings in New Zealand and Australia. I wish this had been offered to me at the first Top 10 I stopped at. I could have saved a lot of money.
After we set up the tent, we drove to Franz Josef Glazier. I took a picture of the glazier from the parking lot.
and then we hiked to ” Peters Pool ” to take a picture of its reflection in the pool.
I hiked further while Cheryl was still taking pictures at the pool and I found these large ferns. I’m planning on taking the picture back home to set beside my ferns at home to inspire them to grow larger.
When I returned to where Cheryl had been taking the pictures, but she was gone, so I hiked up to the glazier, thinking that she had gone there as well.
I took these pictures of the glazier, the surrounding area.
When I returned from my hike, which took a little more than an hour, I found Cheryl in the parking lot. She had gone on a different trail. We compared our pictures and just before we got up to leave, she mentioned that she had found a camera. She was showing me the camera and asked me what she should do with it when a man, who had just driven into the parking lot, came over and asked us if we had found the camera. He looked very concerned. Cheryl explained that she had found it on the ground in the parking lot and had tried to check the pictures on it but it was damaged. He said that it was his camera and it had fallen out of his wife’s coat pocket and that he had returned to the parking lot in the hope that he could find it. He said that they have been in New Zealand for 3 weeks and all of the their pictures were on it. I suggested that he take the memory card and have the pictures copied to another card before he loses them again. He wanted to take a picture of us on the camera but he soon realized that the camera didn’t work. Cheryl and I felt that it was meant for us to compare our pictures so that he would find us there and get his camera back.
We had another full day and we returned to our campsite at Fox Glazier, had a light salad, and completed some tasks including some plans for the next day.