Day One Hundred & Thirty (11th Jan) – Fox Glacier

19 02 2011

Today was an out and out driving day. Leaving Nelson in the morning after breakfast and arriving at Fox Glacier in the evening. We were in no rush to cover the 500km of scenic New Zealand countryside. Stopping at almost every available opportunity to admire the views and get a quick photo before wheel spinning out of the parking area and back onto the road. You see I felt immasculined after receiving a few comments about the car. The first from a piss head of a woman we met in a pub a couple of nights ago – ‘that is a very sad car’. Then the one this morning from someone who works in the hostel we were staying at – ‘what a beast’. The comment was obviously dripping with sarcasm. I have therefore felt the need to compensate for the inadequate car by wheel spinning it from time to time.

Our route took us west out of Nelson and south along the coast road through Westport, past Punakaiki with its pancake rocks and blow hole, then onto Greymouth and finally into Fox Glacier. A very small town with little going for it other than a half pint sized glacier and views of Mount Cook.

The road between Westport and Greymouth was jaw droppingly stunning. Another one of these drives that makes it on to many a top ten road trip lists. To be fair this is much deserved. At times the road runs hundreds of feet above the thunderous Tasman Sea offering fine views. The road then juts inland through beautiful untouched forests but mostly follows the roar and sight of the sea. The glorious bush that dominates the road is saturated with nikau palms offering a sub-tropical look to the landscape. This is very unique to this part of New Zealand all of which is complimented by the dense native ferns.

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