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West coast and rain

Day 16.

I say goodbye to the lovely hosts. Before this, Kenny has drawn a map of the places I should stop-by before I go to Hokitika Gorge. I follow the map and the walks near Lake Kaniere. It’s quite cloudy and grey so there is not much to see, although the mist covered trees look fine. The Lake Kaniere Walkway has many interesting bird calls but I cannot get a view to them. It sounds like a door creaks combined with one pressing down and rubbing a plastic ball – quite high sounds (I have looked up the call from a Kiwi bird, and it was not like it). I see the waterfall, Dorothy Falls, where the water has a rather ocher color, probably due to all the rain and land slides. When the road turns for Hokitika Gorge, I decide to continue south – it’s simply to rainy, windy, and cloudy to make this trek a success. I reach the Franz Joseph glacier and find a place to stay at Orange Sheep. It’s made quite conveniently so all camper vans have a small enclosed private area surrounded by the road and rain forest. There are many tourists in this town, and many places to stay along with restaurants, different museums and then all the different activities one can book. I cannot get a view to the glacier in this weather. I walk around the city center and drop by SnakeBite Brewery for a beer. Tomorrow, I’m considering getting up early to drive to Lake Matheson (reflection lake) for the sunrise then return later to Franz Joseph Glacier for a guided tour – let’s see when the alarm rings at 4:30am…

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