Day 9 & 10: Frans Josef Glacier to Arthurs Pass to Greymouth to Abel Tasman National Park to Picton

From Fox Glacier we drove to Frans Josef Glacier and did the 90 minute return walk. It’s a super easy walk, and it’s packed, so many people. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a wall of ice. We got a cool rainy day and I really enjoyed the walk. If you have the money I’ve been told the helicopter flight and ice walk inside the glacier is epic and I would’ve done that if I had the funds. Next stop was Hokitika Gorge, which is very impressive, incredibly milky blue water. From there we drove to Arthurs Pass, no plans to go the whole way, so we just drove halfway to Okira Viaduct or Death’s Corner and then did the walk to Devils Punchbowl Falls. All delightful sounding places. To be honest I was disappointed in Arthurs Pass after all the hype. But I’m going to put it down to the fact that we only went halfway and the light wasn’t very good. From here we drove to Greymouth (I re-stocked my books and we grabbed a feed). We stayed at Greymouth Top 10 Holiday Park.

The next morning we made the long drive up to Abel Tasman National Park. We stayed at Pohara Top 10 Holiday Park. Once there we decided to do the coastal track. The track quickly goes from ocean views to rainforest and ascends quickly and for a long time. I wasn’t prepared for a tough walk and I was struggling in the heat. We only made it to the first beach before I called it quits and chilled out reading my book. After a while we noticed people coming from the point, and we made our way back this way instead (wayyyy more fun!) but only do-able at low tide obviously. We walked back up the beach and chilled out at some little inlets. I swear it was the hottest day ever and the water was unbelievably cold! Geez New Zealand is a tease!

Got a good feed and a Somersby’s at the pub across the road. Oh sweetness! Made me miss home even more. Next morning we needed to drive to Picton to catch the ferry across to Wellington.

So the story goes. I’m an idiot. I booked our flights home out from Christchurch, but booked the camper to be dropped off at Auckland. Wow so dumb. Anyway, the camper couldn’t be changed so we paid for a ferry to Wellington. This wasn’t an issue as we had plenty of days remaining and we wanted to check out North Island anyway.

So back to driving to Picton. Don’t trust Google Maps! We put in the destination. Checked the route. Perfect. 3.5hrs drive. Easy. Anyhow we made it to Nelson easy. Checked the route again before we left and off we went. Somewhere between Nelson and Picton it decided it would be fun to take us 90 minute in the complete wrong direction. I didn’t notice anything odd (maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention). Anyway we eventually came to an intersection and realized the sign said Picton was the other way. I honestly don’t know what happened. I’m guessing I took a wrong turn and the GPS was planning on me turning around eventually, somewhere, miles away.

Thankfully, our ferry wasn’t departing till 10pm so we had plenty of time. The ferry ride was 3hrs across to Wellington, so we booked accommodation in advance and got to bed around 2am.

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