Our fellow neighbors here at the campground surely get up early! But once we take a peek out the window, we understand why: the sun is out and the mountain tops are clear … It’s time to pack up & get going!
Already in town for our next adventure, we stop quickly only to get some shots of the sheep … only a handful of the estimated 9 million in NZ. No way Kirk can leave this country without some quality shots of the famous furries!
Fox Glacier is definitely more impressive than yesterday’s FJ, but in part also because it’s not raining. While clouds have pushed in front of the sun in the last half hour, we get to hike dry and happy along the river towards the glacier’s snout. The walk is fairly easy for the most part, but the last few hundred meters are a steep slope up for a breathtaking view.
Had we come about 6 years ago, that climb would have been unnecessary, as the glacier only retreated that far in the past few years. (The signs along the road leading towards the glacier carpark showed where the ice had reached to back in 1935 and in 1750 – it’s moving faster and faster!)
Fox Glacier is an absolute must-see for any West Coast traveler, and we’re happy to have spent the time to make it here. Soon enough it’s time to get back on the road and head further south on Hwy 6, as today’s final destination is Haast Junction.
On our way there, we stop at Bruce Bay for a nice photo op. We quickly realize why the beach is so deserted: it’s the crazy sandfly attack that has us running back to the van in no time! Little buggers … now we know what the warnings in the guide book were all about! There is no escaping them! They’re relentless! And everywhere! So I guess having had plenty of rain all these days had sheltered us from another plague: the South Island’s sandfly. Not sure which one is the lesser of the two evils.
On we go and briefly stop at Knights Point for another photo break. The afternoon sun is beautiful. Then we’re off to the last stretch to Haast Junction, where we fill up the gas tank, fill up our bellies (yum!) at the Hard Antler restaurant in town and call it a day at the Haast Top 10 Holiday Park.