Leaving Mahinapua we continued south toward Franz Josef where we would stay in Rainforest retreat.
Franz Josef is a very tiny place with basically one street where you have a few shops and places to eat and then you have the street with acommodation and activity centres and then it has a lot of nice walks and treks nearby.
That evening there was a beautiful sunset that I went outside to watch with Alex and Helene. We also had a bit of fun with the panorama picture and you’ll see the result above 😀
I had signed up for a helicopter tour for the next day, but unfortunately it was too windy, so they were unable to do it. Instead I went on a guided walking tour to the glacier which was a very beautiful and interesting walk from forest then bare ground full of schist (rock) to waterfals cascading from the side of the rockface. I also found a few pieces of crystal quartz and we got to hold a chunk of ice that our guide had fished up from the swift flowing stream of water coming from the Franz Josef glacier. You could easily see, especially after our guide’s explanation, where and how vast the glacier had been and how it has been melting and therefore becoming smaller and smaller each year.
In the evening there was pizza fest at the hostel where they would keep serving pizza non-stop until you couldn’t eat anymore. It was a fun evening and great pizzas!
On our way from Franz Josef we made a stop at Lake Matheson a.k.a. Mirror Lake and went for the walk around it and then had our lunch in the lovely cafe by the parking lot. It was a gorgeous walk with a great view of Mt. Aoraki (Mt. Cook) and Mt. Tasman in the background. From there we headed to Wanaka with a few other stops on the way..