Glaciers & glowormsMarch 27, 2017 in New Zealand
This morning we drove to Lake Mathieson, where we walked partway round the lake to see the great view of the mountains and Fox glacier reflected in the still water of the lake. It was an enjoyable walk, through native rainforest – that looked different from the vegetation we’ve seen elsewhere in NZ – and even more prehistoric. We then drove on to Franz Josef glacier, where we again did a walk (longer than yesterday’s walk to Fox glacier but flatter and drier!) to the closest point you can get to the glacier on foot. The views were fantastic – the glacier was clearer than the Fox glacier yesterday, partly because the weather was clearer but also because you could see more of the tongue of the glacier before it disappeared up over the mountain. It was that amazing blue “toothpastey” colour that glaciers have- striking and well worth the walk.
After a quick picnic, we drove on to Okarito to see the wetlands area, where we got to see the rare white heron and a kingfisher (and more sandflies...). We then drove on to Hokitika, where we spent the night. We had fish & chips for dinner, sat on a picnic bench on the seafront – where fish & chips taste best! We then went for a sunset walk along the beach – the sea was quite wild, with large waves and many tree trunks washed up along the sand, the sea is clearly not calm very often here. When it got dark we walked to the “gloworm dell” and we got to see hundreds of the small gloworms (fly larvae) shining their blue-green light in the darkness. It was fascinating to see – hundreds of tiny dots of light all around us, like tiny stars shining.Read more