Saturday, 1 September 2012

Punakaiki & Franz Josef

Here is a great little spot that we stayed at in Punakaiki called Te Nikau Retreat. Many little details make this a place to stay longer: Fresh baked bread and muffins made by the staff, big spacious cabins, JENGA, and any spice you can think of in the kitchens, (in a hostel you never find anything more than salt and pepper if you are lucky). A short 15 minute walk away is a big private beach. Slightly overcast this day, but you can imagine what it would be like on a summer day. After a recharging day in Punakaiki we headed to Franz Josef.

Me looking pretty in head to toe North Face...

Jeff testing his ankle to see if it's gotten any better.

Franz Josef
In Franz Josef we splurged for the heli tour of the glacier. This was a first for both of us, and the heli ride alone was worth the expense. We took off from the air field and came around the mountain to see the glacier within minutes. As one of the fastest moving glaciers this was pretty jaw dropping to see the scenery, let alone explore it. We spent a couple of hours in our crampons visiting various parts of the glacier and learning about its history and the different formations within it. Afterwards we had ‘free’ entry into the hot pools to ease any aching muscles.
Glacier view from the chopper
Every place we go ends up being better than the last, so we are ready to see what is next!

1 comment:

  1. Me and Meg stayed at that same hostel! We had the stargazer cabin - it was just big enough for a bed but the roof above was glass. It would have been nice to see stars but the land of the long white cloud prevailed. The west coast was probably one of my favorite areas of NZ!