Greymouth - Franz Josef

Franz Josef Travel Blog

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The fantastic pancakes!

The plan for today was to drive from 170km from Greymouth to Franz Josef stopping at Hokitika, Ross and Lake Mapourika on the way.

Once again we started on one road (the SH6) and stayed on it the whole way!  We didn't have breakfast at out hotel so stopped off at The Junction Cafe at Kumara Junction (about 2km outside of Greymouth) I had some of the best pancakes ever at this cafe, the people that own it were very friendly, as well as being a cafe it is an arts and crafts shop.

Next stop was Hokitika...  Hokitika is one of the old gold mining towns, but now is famous for its Pounamu (greenstone) and glass blowing.  It is also famous for it's annual wildfoods festival where you can sample delicious foods such as hu hu grubs and wasp larvae ice cream.

Early morning... Greymouth
.. unfortunately (or fortunately...) the festival was the week after we were in Hokitika.

Next stop was Ross, which is one of the tiniest places I have ever seen!  There is basically one road that goes into Ross, and another road that goes out!  Ross is also one of the towns that was involved in the Goldrush in the late 1800's, there are little museum type houses and a heritage centre which give loads of information about the history of the town, there are also loads of nature trail walks that you can go on and get amazing views. 

Our last stop before we reached Franz Josef was Lake Mapourika... I satisfied my photo taking obsession by taking far too many photos!!  Next stop... Franz Josef!

Franz Josef town is in the middle of Westland National Park in the Southern Alps and is about 5km from Franz Josef Glacier and 20km from Fox Glacier.

Hokitika
  We chose to stay in Franz Josef rather than Fox Glacier as we were going to be there for 2 days, and Franz Josef is slightly bigger and has more things to do than Fox Glacier, and also the hotel we were staying in was right in the middle of the mountains so we would have great views.  

We stayed in the Franz Josef Glacier Hotel (part of the Scenic Circle Group) when we got there we were told that we had been upgraded from a room to a suite (woohoo!!) so basically instead of just a room, we had a bedroom, lounge, kitchen and bathroom as well as a balcony that looked out onto the main part of the hotel and the mountains.  We spent the first afternoon pretty much just mooching around the town, looking in the shops and buying things that we really didn't need!  As it got to late afternoon / evening mist started coming down from the mountains and sort of hovering above the roofs of the houses and hotels, it was one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen! 

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The fantastic pancakes!
The fantastic pancakes!
Early morning... Greymouth
Early morning... Greymouth
Hokitika
Hokitika
Hokitika
Hokitika
Hokitika
Hokitika
Ross (the road in)
Ross (the road in)
Lake at Ross
Lake at Ross
Ross
Ross
Lake at Ross
Lake at Ross
Lake at Ross
Lake at Ross
Ross (the road out)
Ross (the road out)
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Lake Mapourika
Franz Josef
Franz Josef
Franz Josef
Franz Josef
Franz Josef
Franz Josef
Franz Josef
Franz Josef
Early morning... Greymouth
Early morning... Greymouth
Franz Josef
photo by: Vikram