Cool as Ice...

Trip Start Sep 06, 2011
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Trip End Oct 24, 2011


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What I did
Night in Wanaka, Heli-Hiked Fox Glacier and Punakaiki rocks!

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    At the beginning of the week we headed out of Dunedin, as usual, with a top-notch hangover... and we could see a pattern, that bad things always happen in Dunedin. We had a rough idea of what we wanted to do this week, which was go up a glacier on the west coast, so we hopped in the car, and headed that way. On the first night we stopped off at Wanaka, as we heard it was meant to be a beautiful lake side town, and we hadn't had a chance to head up there when we were in Queenstown. Wanaka was beautiful, and it is also where we had by far our best meal in a place called Cappricio's (or something like that), the staff were extremely friendly, but the old man behind the bar on the way in strongly recommended we should go for the lamb shoulder. It was soooo good! Yum.
    The next morning it was my turn to drive, and it was probably the most amazing drive of my life, I was told the drive from Wanaka to the west coast was stunning, but what a day for it, the sun was out and it was a clear blue sky, windy mountain roads, lakeside roads, high roads, low roads and roads past waterfalls untill eventually arriving at the west coast, where Matt and I stopped to get a bit of rugby practice on the beach, before resuming up to Fox, where we found a motel to stay in, and book a Heli-Hike the next day.
    Up bright and early we went for breakfast and got ready, Fox glacier's township is only one road really, so everything is real close together we got on the organised bus, and went to the Helipad, where we had to be weighed before getting in a Helicopter... Surprise Surprise.. myself and Matt were the heaviest two! But we still got to go up in the same chopper. Once we landed we had to put our clampons and start hiking! Again it was a stunning day even high up on the glacier.
    The tour itself was really well guided, and the guide explained how it makes ice caves, and how its made on route. It didn't take long until we found out first Ice cave, which after the guide had sledge hammered the roof (to test its safety)... we went inside. We saw a few of these on our hike plus quite a few other things, such as drinking out of a river on the Ice. Untill eventually looping back round to the helipad on the ice before pick up, which was a tad sketchy, as a low cloud had come over quite quickly sitting in the fox glacier valley. Me and Matt had to go in different helicopters to distribute our weight evenly as its a bumpy ride in those helicopters through cloud. Matt was a complete gentleman and said I could meat my grizzly end first and offered to video it, so I jumped in and went leaving him on the ground (I admit I took a picture thinking it could be the last picture of Matt Dye) haha.
    After the glacier we hopped in the car and drove up the coast all the way to Greymouth... all I can say about Greymouth is it's shit, don't go there. By the time we were there we went up to the punakaiki rocks which were pretty cool, it was almost Night time. The rocks were formed like a big pile of pancakes, it was interesting, but we never got to see any 'blowholes' where the sea comes blasting up through the rocks. So off back down to Greymouth we went, with the plan to cut through Arthur's Pass through the mountains to Christchurch the next day, at-least anywhere we went next, would be better than grey, dull, boring boring Greymouth!
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