January 5th, 2017
Franz Josef to Westport
Highlight: Drinking on the beach with a bonfire in Westport
Lowlight: Chickening out of swimming in Hokitika Gorge
Today we had a sleep in! I needed that desperately. I stayed up late reading – which was nice to have some chill time.
Grace and I decided to drive to Lake Matheson while the rest of the group trekked to the Franz Josef Glacier. We found this amazing cafe (where we had a sneaky breaky to share) and an awesome art gallery. I really wanted to buy on of Bridgette Hall’s geometric landscapes, but I worried it would get all squished on the way home – Note to self, check out her website!
Once everyone was back we all made sandwiches out the back of our vans to have a quick
lunch stop. Then it was on our way to the Hokitika Gorge. It took longer than I expected to arrive here, but the view along the way was awesome. It felt like after leaving Franz Josef the landscape had completely changed to open plains and rugged rivers.
We drove from the Hokitika Gorge to the pancake rocks. What a ridiculously amazing drive. You always hear about the west coast being rugged and beautiful, and we weren’t let down. The sun was out and the coast looked amazing. There were these giant rocks that the waves crashed into all along, I freaking loved it.
Once we got to the pancake rocks we had a big explore. It was just after 5:30 pm when we arrived (much later than I thought we would be). I really liked watching the surge and the blowhole. I tried to photograph these, but I don’t think I was very successful.
After leaving the pancake rocks we boosted to Westport. The main goal now was booze, food and check-in. We got booze, we got some fish and chips and we attempted to check into our accommodation. Minor hiccup here, Aiden had booked 7 people on one site rather than 3 sites for 7 people. Lucky for us it wasn’t a weekend and we were able to all squeeze together.
We all ate our takeaway dinners together on arrival, we had dirty fish and chips and I wish we had got Chinese. It looked so good! After dinner, Mike and I did a ton of laundry. Sick of needing so many $2 coins! Ridiculous. Once this was complete we began the best night of the trip thus far.
Grace and Dan had inherited this fire on the beach from a family who was done with it. They sussed out some sitting logs and more debris to fuel the fire. We all sat around the fire drinking and discussing these road trip questions I had found, like where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I loved sitting by a fire on the beach. Court, Grace and I even ran down to dip our toes (which was much further than we thought and freezing). We all wandered back at midnight for a much-needed sleep. Tomorrow is Nelson! I am so pumped for some more drinking and relaxation. I loved tonight!
1. Mount Tasman
2. The Hokitika Gorge
3. The goats on the way to the Gorge