Trip to Franz Josef Glacier (from Motueka)

Wednesday 21/02

Wake up at 7am. Breakfast.

Shuttle at 8:30am, to Nelson.

We take our rental car (Hyundai Imax, 8-seater) at Apex. We leave Nelson at 10am, towards Franz Josef.

On the way, about 15km west of Murchison, we stop at the swingbridge in the Buller gorge (the longest one in NZ, 110m). We do the short (15’) loop walk on the other side of the river. Unfortunately, the jetboat on the river is closed today due to the storm of yesterday.

We stop a bit further to eat a salad (the same as yesterday evening). But it starts raining + there are sandflies, so we go back into the car.

A lot of rain on the road, sometimes so heavy that Isabelle has to stop.

We drive 500 km. We arrive in Franz Josef around 6pm.

The camper park is not great. I booked the only cabin of the park. There is a bad smell inside and it’s very small (1 queen bed, 1 single and 1 very uncomfortable double sofa). This was the only accommodation available in Franz Josef. And I was very lucky to get it since I made a mistake in the booking (on I put one adult and 3 children in my search. If not, I would never have got it…

We take a shower. Isabelle and I go to the ‘Four Square’ supermarket in town to buy a few things including milk and fruits for tomorrow’s breakfast.

We go to the restaurant nearby where we eat nice meals (salmon, chicken, lamb and pork), which we share.

Kids and Isabelle read a bit while I finalize the booking of the activities in Kaikoura (already nearly full, in 10 days) and I book 2 nights in Hokitika for Friday and Saturday (after Franz Josef), to do the Big Day Out, a full day bike ride (50 km) on Saturday (probably without Jules and Florence).

Tomorrow we go onto the Fox Glacier, by helicopter. Quite exciting!

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