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  • Day16

    Feb 5 - The Coast and Glacier Country

    February 6, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    We drove for about 2 hours to the little coastal town of Hokitika for a lunch break. We had the chance to visit a shop selling New Zealand greenstone - it’s like jade. I don’t need more jewelry so I tried some other stores. I found a sweet little glass blue penguin instead. Hokitika is noted for its driftwood sculptures - found one that spells the name of the town. Cool. I splurged on Hoki Poki ice cream, despite that thin milk not doing its job.

    From there, we headed south towards Fox Glacier. In this part of New Zealand, life is dominated by water - rainfall, glacial water feed, landslides, flooding streams and rivers, bridges, viaducts - you name, it's here. The landscape is ever-changing because of the continual effects of water.

    The road twisted and turned and rose and fell, giving us unending panoramic views of the mountains and valleys and rivers. We saw many scars on the sides of the hills where landslides have occurred - many of them cutting off the only road in the area. Road building and maintenance and repair is an art form in this country. There was a vicious rain storm in December - there was stark evidence of the damage that it did.

    We did a quick comfort stop (Linda knows every loo in NZ) in Hari Hari. This little town's claim to fame is that it was here that Guy Menzies landed in 1931 - he was the first person to fly solo from Australia/Sydney to New Zealand - and at the age of 21 at that.

    We eventually got into the little town of Fox Glacier - we are only here one night. We have rooms with balconies that overlook the mountains. We are hoping that the cloud cover will lift so we can see the actual Fox Glacier tomorrow.
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