New Zealand forests at its bestFebruary 8 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 13 °C
There was heavy rain predicted at 8 in the morning, so we woke up before 7 to pack the tent. We had breakfast in the camping hangar and then went to the DOC office around the corner. Our plan was quite ambitious as we wanted to travel the 300km westcoast part up to Kumara today. And along the way, so our hope, do some short walks to stretch our legs and see the landscape. The DOC woman was helpful in telling us where to find the first one of those. Just 16km north we could visit a swamp forest with a 20 minute walk. Once there we first waited a bit until the rain stopped though. Luckily the weather forecast was quite accurate and we didn't see any rain anymore after 11 just as predicted.
The swamp forest was quite cool. Even more than usual everything is growing on top of each other here, lots of moss everywhere, water on the floor. Very pretty, maybe our favourite forest so far. After a quick and not so spectacular viewpoint stop, we drove straight to Fox. Fox and 30km further Franz Josef are the two towns that are known for their glaciars. Susanne had done a glaciar hike here 10 years ago. Turns out by now those walks are apparently only doable by helicopter transfers. We are not sure why exactly but it might have to do with the shocking retreat. Already back then not comparable in size to some we had seen in Patagonia, a documentation book showed that now there was almost nothing left of the glaciar tongue in the valley. We got a bit sad and decided to skip this area. Instead we opted for lunch with a nice lake view and no sandflies. We were prepared for the worst, as we were finally at the West Coast, their homeland. But they were not home apparently. Lucky us!
Along the way we also saw some damaged road parts with landslides and construction workers. Later on we had two more nice but not too special forest walks at lake Mahinapua and Mananui Bush. In Hokitika we got some delicious burger takeaways and then drove further to Kumara, where we camped at the Greenstone Retreat. Funny to imagine a town called Sükattoffel or zoete aardappel. The place was cute but maybe a little too hippie and alternative for us.Read more