Haast New Zealand

We got up early again, around 7:00 am, but actually 7:20 by the time either one of us actually took a step. We both got dressed and were packed and ready to check out by 8:30. Our destination for the day was Franz Josef Glacier, which I thought would be a 4 hour drive, but after chatting with our hotel hostess she confirmed that it took 6 to 7 hours of just driving. Didn’t really matter anyhow as Lisa and I didn’t have much planned for the day, just some site seeing on the way there.

Wanaka Puzzle World

Wanaka Puzzle World

Our first stop of the day was at Puzzling World in Wanaka. I am a huge fan of puzzles and brain teasers so this was a must for us. Puzzling World could be the ultimate place in the world for all of those who are fascinated by optical illusions and brain teasers. Lisa and I spent over an hour touring through the different rooms, looking at the different optical illusions and interacting with some of the displays they had setup. My favourite room had to be the room that was tilted, it made you feel really uncomfortable walking around and everything in the room seemed to defy gravity. Before leaving Puzzling World I loaded up on a bunch of puzzles to bring back home with me and Lisa and I took a few funny pictures with the leaning clock tower outside. I had a blast and Lisa really enjoyed it to.

Along the Highway into Wanaka

Along the Highway into Wanaka

After Wanaka, Lisa and I made a few stops on the side of the road on our way to Franz Josef Glacier, the views were just too amazing to pass by. We probably stopped five or six times along the side of the road just for some photographs, most of them being within the Hasst area. It was definitely the most beautiful part of New Zealand that we saw. Almost every corner you go around on the road is another spectacular view. Lisa and I also stopped for a few quick walks down to some of the waterfalls that where located in Hasst Pass. Our last stop on the trip was at a little rest area in between the town of Hasst and Fox Glacier called Ship Creek.

From the parking lot of Ship Creek rest stop it is just a hundred meters or so to the ocean. There is a beautiful sand beach which made for a few good photo opportunities and a great lookout tour to stand in and soak in the surrounding view of the white sand beach and ocean. After hanging around the beach area for a while Lisa and I decided to go on the 30 minute swamp walk which headed back into the dense forest behind the Ship Creek rest area.

The view from Knights Point Lookout

The view from Knights Point Lookout

Once on our way I realized that this was no ordinary swamp it was much more like a tropical forest. There were no insects or other critters to worry about, just Lisa and I and the beautiful forest. Some of the photographs I took during the walk where some of my best so far this trip.

Just a few miles up (literally) from the Ship Creek rest stop we came upon another neat little area called Knights Point Lookout. The view from the point was spectacular, we could see some jagged rocks along the coast line breaking up the ocean waves as they came tumbling in. Lisa and I didn’t spend a whole lot of time here as there wasn’t much there except the great view.

Between Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier the road got interesting. The road zigzagged up and down through the mountains at some points slowing down to as much as 35 kilometres an hour. Just to give you a better idea of how slow it really was, both towns are only 24 kilometres apart, but it took us about 45 minutes to get to Franz Josef Glacier.


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