Oceania Travel

Franz Josef to Greymouth

29 December 2011

We headed down a quick road to see the glacier that is Franz Josef. We opted for the one and a half hour walk, which was much easier than anticipated. Not really knowing what to expect, we walked about ten minutes through a forest, picturing a mountain with some snow around it. Wrong. Exiting the forest, we entered a huge, rocky, empty valley, and in the distance, there was the glacier, with the appearance of crystal. White, blue and sparkling. It was a long walk to the glacier but we had a view of it the whole time.

We also found an enchanting cave below the glacier, which was a pathway for a nearby rushing river, full of ice. One of the blocks of ice had been removed by a traveller and put on a little pole for display. We picked up the heavy rock of ice and noticed its sheer smoothness.

We headed back to the car and began our short drive to Greymouth. We only stopped once, at a greenstone (jade) town called Hokitika. It was raining so we had a quick look at the beach and kept on our way.

We arrived at Greymouth soon after, which is a town much bigger than we expected. In fact, it’s one of the more larger towns we have encountered so far on our journey. It was still raining so we checked in and went out to explore the city. The best things to do in Greymouth are all outdoor type things, so we spent the afternoon relaxing and taking a break in our hostel. Well deserved. We later went out for dinner and spent the night in the hostel playing Scrabble. We were champions of four-letter words.

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