West Coast or West Land
Or even called the wetland, I would dare to say! From the sunny and hot Golden Bay, here I am driving under the pouring rain! I stopped in Reefton for a night (a quiet nice town with few shops) and the following morning I hit the road again to head South!
Hokitika, Franz Glacier and Fox Glacier
I left planning to stop in Hokitika on my way to the famous glaciers. As a matter of fact, it started raining as soon as I hit the road and I was basically inside a cloud all the way down. Anyhow, Hokitika is a great stop to eat something and make some plans at the always really welcoming i-Site! (Oh did I tell you about the i-Site? They are these great information centers all around New Zealand, where you can use the toilet, get maps of the country and lots of useful stuff).
After Hokitika, I decided to stop at the Franz Glacier, (which is the first one you meet coming from the North) since it was so frustrating not to see anything around me! Who knows how many amazing landscapes I missed! And travelling solo driving a car in the rain is no fun at all, to be honest! The only interesting thing is that along my way I was quite surprised to notice that there were very few signs of civilization around! Few farms, few tiny towns, but there was almost no one around! What a strange feeling for a European, used to be surrounded by humans and human-made landscape wherever we go!
I booked a last minute accommodation at the Rain Forest Retreat , a nice place, clean and new, with free wi-fi. It would have been pleasant if it was not for all the backpackers!!! (Yes, I know I am a backpacker too but obviously I am different :P).
In the morning, with all my best intentions, I woke up at 7, drove to the Fox Glacier and posted myself in front of the Glacier waiting for it to “appear” under the clouds. And it did! And I saw it! And it was beautiful! Very very beautiful was also the short walk I did to reach the view-point!
Satisfied, I headed South again, to Haast.
Haast, Bruce Bay and Paringa
At that point, I actually saw the sun! It came out just for few seconds here and there among the dark clouds as I was driving South. I stopped at Bruce Bay, where there was a quite peculiar cafe,
and to a lake, which I thought it was Paringa but it wasn’t and I am afraid I missed the name.
Anyway, I also stopped right before Haast for a walk around the coast and around a Creek! I highly suggest making this stop, as there are lots of information materials about flora and fauna of the area!
I arrived to Haast as it was really raining cats and dogs and found a backpackers place which is incredibly nice and quiet! Feel like in paradise! Tomorrow heading to Haast Pass and Wanaka!
Rain rain, go away! Come again another day!