West Coast Journals

The West Coast, NZ - Glaciers, Ferns and Rain

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A December 2004 trip to West Coast by Smitha Guru

Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike Tour Photo, Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: All the rain in the world could not take away the beauty of the lush green rainforests, the ice mountains of Fox and Franz Joseph glacier, and the wonder of nature's beauty (and fury).

Riverstone B&B￿

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Hotel | "Riverstone B&B"

Quote:
Fox Glacier has quite a few hotels, but they were all booked due to it being peak season. We stayed in Riverstone B&B, which I had managed to locate earlier. This was our first ever stay in a B&B. The house is located in a small lane about a 2-minute walk from the main road. The room we stayed in was attached to the main house but had a separate entry through the garage for privacy. Since it was pouring rain, it helped since we did not mess up the main house with our raincoats. The room itself was tastefully done. In spite of the cold rain, the heater and electric blanket kept us warm. My only grievance was that there was no body soap. Since we had brought none ourselves, we had to wash our...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 4, 2005

Riverstone B&B￿
Corner of Glacier Lane and Pekanga Drive
West Coast, New Zealand

Glacier Lane B&B￿

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Hotel | "Glacier Lane B&B"

Quote:
If it had not rained and things had gone according to plan, we would have only stayed for 1 night in Fox Glacier and then headed over to Wanaka. But our change of plans to go on the hike at Franz Joseph and return at 6pm made us look for another night’s accommodation. Since we had already left Franz Joseph when we decided not to drive farther, we looked for accommodation at Fox again. We were not able to contact Suzie at Riverstone and were forced to look elsewhere. The village seemed entirely booked out, but we luckily found one empty room with a shared bath (with the family) at Glacier Lane B&B. Guru was initially not too happy with it since he’s not used to shared baths (neither am I), but the hous...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 4, 2005

Glacier Lane B&B￿
Glacier Lane
West Coast, New Zealand

Cook's Saddle and Cafe Nevu

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Restaurant

Quote:
Cook’s Saddle and Salon We loved the Cook’s Saddle and Salon the minute we stepped into it. The guide book had described it as a favourite among locals and visitors alike, and it was not difficult to see why. It was a cold evening, and even at 7:30pm, the place was packed. The large room was divided by a brick wall and fireplace into the ‘drinking’ section and the ‘eating section’. While waiting for a table, we had a drink from the bar at one of the wooden tables near the fire. We did not mind the half-hour wait, looking at the various animal heads and black and white photographs of glacier adventurers. Being vegetarians (with no eggs/seafood either), we have always found...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 31, 2005

Cook's Saddle and Cafe Nevu
Fox Glacier Township
West Coast, New Zealand

Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike Tour

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Attraction | "Half-Day Hike at Franz Joseph"

Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike Tour Photo, Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Quote:
Our initial planned half-day hike at Fox Glacier with Alpine Guides was cancelled due to the rains the previous day. Expecting better weather at Franz Joseph since the tour there was going ahead, we booked a half-day hike at Franz Joseph instead. We were provided with raincoats, "overtrousers," hiking boots that weighed 1 kilogram each, and ice picks to help grip the ice. A pair of gloves would’ve helped as I later discovered. They drove us to the car park of the glacier and the walk through the rainforest began. It was a beautiful walk made incredibly difficult with the heavy boots. After the rainforest cleared, we came in view of the glacier, but it was another 45-minute walk over stones and the ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 3, 2005

Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike Tour
Main Street
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Lake Matheson Walk

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Attraction

Lake Matheson Walk Photo, West Coast, New Zealand
Quote:
It is one of the most photographed locations in NZ – the snow-capped mountains perfectly reflected in a scenic blue lake framed by rainforests. It was overcast that morning at Fox glacier, and we didn’t expect Lake Matheson, about 3 miles from the township, to be any better. We had about 4 hours before our half-day glacier hike at Franz Joseph, and decided to make the walk. Winding through thick forest vegetation, the 1.5-hour loop trail is very easy for all ages and fitness levels. I think I fell in love with the ferns during this walk. Different types of ferns in different shades of green grow in abundance and added to the beauty of the pristine lake. I had this incredible urge to pick eac...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 31, 2005

Lake Matheson Walk
Near Fox Glacier, New Zealand
West Coast, New Zealand