lebt noch, schreibt aber grad nicht

The Old Church

18. Januar 2009

Day 30 & 31: Okarito to Ferguson

The rain that started the previous night did not stop until early afternoon, but I still decided to cycle on. I stayed almost dry, except for one good shower, and the ride was quite easy, except for one good climb up Mt. Hercules. I had already planned to follow Kathrin’s recommendation and stay a night at the Old Church. This actually is the old church of Ross, which was put on a truck and driven out into the middle of nowhere, to be transformed into a hostel. The place is actually so nice that I hoped it would rain the following day, and I’d have to stay another night. This indeed happended, and I spent a day reading by the fire.

West CoastSandfliesThe Old Church

Kiwi Tours

16. Januar 2009

Day 29: Fox Glacier to Okarito

Only a short ride today, but not an easy one: between Fox and Franz Josef are two steep 200m climbs. After that I took the side road to Okarito, situated at the coast and the Okarito Lagoon. This is where the rarest of all Kiwis lives, and where Kiwi-enthusiast Ian has his Kiwi-Tours business. They go out in the evening with small groups and try to see Kiwi. With the help of radio location, red lights and a lot of patience we actually heard and saw two Kiwis.

After out spotting we hurried back, because the weather was not looking too friendly. This night I experienced my first rain on the West Coast, after six days of susnhine. But I guess after all the wind down south I sort of deserved that.

West CoastWest CoastOkarito

Hot Springs at Welcome Flat

15. Januar 2009

Day 27 & 28: The Copland Track

Two days without cycling! I left my bike and most of my gear at the campsite in Fox to go tramping on the Copland Track. After hitchhiking the 30km south to the start of the track, I spent a wonderful day walking through the rainforest and climbing to Welcome Flat. The track continues from there, and it is possible to cross the Souther Alps and come down to Mt. Cook on the other side. For the less adventurous there is a nice hut and some natural hotpools. I picked the right day to come, because apparently the hut was totally full the previous night, and almost empty when I was there. I had a good evening with a cold beer in a hot pool ­čÖé

Copland TrackCopland TrackCopland TrackHotpoolsHotpoolsWelcome Flat Hut

Next day, same way down, and it took even less time to get a ride back to my bike. I stayed another night in Fox and went to have a look at Lake Matheson, which offers one of New Zealand’s most famous views.

Lake MathesonLake MathesonMt Cook and Tasman

Fox Glacier

13. Januar 2009

Day 26: Lake Paringa to Fox Glacier

Cycling up the West Coast, I entered Glacier Country. New Zealand has many glaciers, the most famous being Fox and Franz Josef. They are both easy to get to, and Franz Josef is even visible from the main road. The special thing about them is that they flow all the way down into the rain forest, which makes for good walks. Also, the New Zealand glaciers are probably the only ones in the world that have advanced in recent decades. This is because it’s been so dry in Australia, causing very hot air to cross the Tasman Sea, bringing lots of rain (and snow) to the West Coast.

I reached Fox around lunchtime, and got the last spot on a guided glacier walk. Since this was my very firsrt glacial experience, it was really good and interesting, though the actual time we spent on the ice was rather short.

West CoastWest CoastWest CoastFox GlacierFox GlacierFox GlacierFox GlacierFox GlacierGillspies Beach

The West Coast

12. Januar 2009

Day 25: Pleasant Flat to Lake Paringa

The West Coast is supposed to be one of the rainiest places in the country, but at least today, it was sunny and warm. I reached the coast, and the township of Haast around lunchtime, and was a little disappointed of the „supermarket“, which really isn’t one. Later I would find out that there is no proper supermarket anywhere between Wanaka and Hokitika, about a week away. So my food choices were somewhat limited, and I had to buy everything at double price.

In the afternoon I went for a little rainforest walk to Munro Beach, before I cycled the last bit to Lake Paringa, where I stayed again at a DOC campsite.

Solitude No 2Haast BridgeWest CoastWest CoastWest CoastLake Paringa