Kiwis and Glaciers

📍Hokitika to Fox Glacier📍

Opening the curtain the next morning I was happy to see the sun shining again. Now we just had to hope that the road leading to our next destination was open. We had been told the night before that the bad weather had caused a land slide and the road was closed. This would mean a seven hour diversion instead of a two hour drive to Fox Glacier. Biding our time until we could get an update on the road we visited the aquarium so that we could see New Zealand’s national bird, the Kiwi. The Kiwi is very endangered and also a very shy flightless bird, which means it is very rare to see one. Luckily for us it was feeding time at the aquarium and so the two kiwis came out of hiding to eat. They are kept in a dark enclosure and so you would usually have to look carefully, but on this occasion they kept walking directly in front of the glass so we got to see them up close. It was also feeding time for the eels and I was actually allowed to feed them and stroke them. I always assumed eels would be slimey but they felt more squidgy than slimey.

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Hokitika is famous for its greenstone (Jade) and calls itself Jade Country. It is tradition for Jade to be gifted and true to tradition, my boyfriend bought me a lovely Jade necklace after a walk around one of the Jade factory shops.

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After lunch we got the good news that the road had been cleared and was now open, so we got in the car and headed for Fox Glacier. But first, a little detour of course. We drove down to Hokitika Gorge where we could take a short walk to the blue-green water and dip our feet in the cold water which comes straight from the mountains.

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Arriving in Fox Glacier the skies had clouded over but our accommodation was so nice, we didn’t care. We stayed in Fox Glacier Lodge which was a lovely cabin overlooking the mountains with all the comforts you needed for a comfortable night. Not ones for resting for too long, we headed back out in hope that we could see the glacier. The route up to the start of the glacier is now closed due to the cyclone which hit last week, but we drove to another view point and with the cloud clearing for approximately 10 minutes we were able to get a glimpse of the spectacular glacier. We took an hours walk around Lake Matheson in hope of seeing the reflection of the mountains in the lake, just like you see in photographs of Lake Matheson, but unfortunately we were not lucky this time. Not far from our lodge was another glow worm dell and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them again. This time we walked through the forest for about 45 minutes in the dark with the bioluminescence larvae glowing all around us.

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