Roy’s Peak and Afternoon Sleep

Woke up at 3:20am this morning. A friend and I decided to do a sunrise hike up to Roy’s Peak, near Wanaka.

We didn’t wake up early enough.

We did, however, catch the sunrise in a great spot on the way up.

The hike took quite a while, but the views from the top were also lovely.

We also saw some rad sheep.

I slept for four hours after we got back.

Good day.

Mirror Lake and the Road to Wanaka

It was already late in the day when I made it to Mirror Lake. On a clear day, the lake is supposed to perfectly reflect Mt. Cook and be a spectacular sight.

My view was that of a cloudy lake. It was still nice, though.

The trip down to Wanaka, however, offered some spectacular views.

The campsite I stayed at was equally impressive.

I made it to Wanaka, and will be in the area for a while looking for a job. I’m running out of money. Turns out, New Zealand is impressively expensive.

More to come.

Franz Josef Glacier and the Mosquito-filled Van

Walking through the valley to get to the Franz Josef Glacier makes you realize how truly small we are.

The main 45 minute walk leads you to a small viewing platform below the glacier. There are some nice views along the way,

but the large flock of people at the end makes it difficult to enjoy.

A five hour hike (round-trip) on a different path

leads you to a platform with many fewer people, and a much better view.

Helicopters frequently pass overhead, carrying the wealthy to tramp around on top of the glacier for a few minutes. The helicopters give a sense of scale of the glacier, barely visible despite the red coloring and blinking lights.

A friend recommended me to stay at a free campsite next to a lake twenty minutes north of Franz Josef. I obliged, and we made a nice campfire and dinner with water that never seemed to boil.

We chatted with some locals cruising around in their tender going who knows where.

The night was spent in fear as hundreds of mosquitoes made their way into my van. I spent twenty minutes trying to kill then all, but their numbers never seemed to dwindle. Instead, I dawned as much clothing as possible and slept face down, almost no skin exposed.

I woke up the next morning covered in bites.

Cape Foulwind and the Pancake Rocks

I haven’t had cell service in a week, so I am a bit behind on my posts.

On the Westcoast of the South island, there is a lighthouse called Cape Foulwind. Wonderful name, subpar lighthouse.

There also is a seal colony nearby, where I counted no fewer than fifteen lounging among the sun-heated rocks.

I liked this tree.

Further south, there are rock formations called the pancake rocks, named such for the unique wearing pattern of the rocks themselves.

It is a short walk with nice views.

Koahaihai

Luckily, the rain abated for the day I was at this campground, including during a spectacular sunset.

I tried to start my van the next morning, only to discover the battery was dead.

Got a jump from a friend and moved it over to do the hike.

The hike is the start of the Heaphy Trek, a four-day “Great Walk.”

The scenery is beautiful. I was hiking with a wonderful woman who saw the beauty in every tree and flower. It made me appreciate the scenery around me a bit more.

The hike ended up taking a good portion of the day.

Unfortunately, it was too rainy to see another sunset, but it was still a nice, relaxing evening.