South Island - Nelson to Franz Josef

Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
Trip End Jun 09, 2008

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

So finally made it to the South Island and had a real mixed bag of weather and accommodation unfortunately. Stayed in a fab place in Nelson, and loved Nelson so much that I ended up staying an extra night. I actually walked to the centre of NZ, which is basically a steep hill and then wandered round some Japanese ornamental gardens which were rubbish. After finally being picked up by my Stray bus we drove to Marahau which is right at the start of the Abel Tasman National park. Now I'd been promised that this is one of the most beautiful places in NZ. I assume this is when you have good weather and not when its throwing it down with rain and its freezing cold. I did a 3.5 hr walk to one of the bays then got picked up by a catamaran and sailed back to Marahau, in very choppy waters, not pleasant especially when a really big wave hits the side of the boat and then soaks you through too!! Saw some fur seals too on the trip so it wasn't all bad. So unfortunately my view of the old national park is a bit prejudiced by the weather oh and the fact the farm we were staying ran out of water on two occasions, had an insect infested kitchen and mattresses which were ridiculously thin. Finally left there after 4 long nights and moved onto a tiny village called Barrytown (population 40) which basically has a pub, school and thats about it. I managed to do some bone carving which I was rather proud of and then we had a fancy dress party (not so proud of horrendous hangover today). Left Barrytown at lunchtime and drove further down the west coast to Franz Josef township which is the start of the Franz Josef Glacier. Its spooky you can actually see the glacier from the hostel here. Off tomorrow to do a heli-hike which should be amazing.
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