From Milford Sound we drove to Queenstown. Another beautiful drive, it really is amazing how much beautiful scenery and how many scenic routes one country of that size can hold!
We found a cute little campsite in walking distance to the town center, and spent a day and a half strolling around Queenstown. The sun were shining and we finally managed to find ourselves in a city on a Saturday, so we could enjoy a market! We had a nice lunch and just relaxed and enjoyed the sun. Mai was a bit sick, with fever during the nights there, so it was needed.
On Sunday we started our drive up the west coast, with first stop at Fox Glacier. It was late afternoon when we got there, and the sunny weather from the last days was replaced with rain. And lots of it.
The following day it rained even more, so much that the road up to Fox Glacier was closed. We got a peak at the glacier from afar, and the little walk to the viewpoint in the very green rainforest lightened our spirits a little.
We drove the 20km north to Franz Josef Glacier and hoped for it to stop raining in the meantime. Unfortunately, it only got worse. So much that we decided we did not want to hike the 2 hour (at least) hike to the glacier, so we continued driving north up the coast instead. Just another reason to come back to New Zealand.
We made it all the way past Greymouth to Punakaiki, where we spent the night at the local campsite. The next morning, we went to see the star attraction; the Pancake Rocks. The rough sea have carved into the limestone rocks so much that some of them looks like giant stacks of pancakes. It was indeed very interesting, but the rain wasn’t quite done with us and we got caught in the rain and had to run back to the van. Soaking, we headed further north, all the way up to Motueka, on the north part of the South Island.