be sure to rollover ‘notes’ to see photo captions!

Another early morning – lots of driving to do! We saw the hot air balloon again and lamented not having known about it to book it. We drove through the rainforest mountains of Mt. Aspiring National Park and stopped at the spectacular spectacular waterfall at the Gates of Haast in Haast Pass. It was about twenty degrees cooler down by the water, and I got a nice little rock for a souvenir. We followed the western coast up to glacier country and had beautiful views of white beaches and crystal clear water.

At Franz Josef glacier, Dad hiked to the base of the glacier while Mom and I took a helicopter to the top of the glacier and spent a few hours hiking around the ice checking out ice caves and streams and bottomless holes in the ice. Our guide was an American so we had plenty to chat about. The glacier hike was the experience of a lifetime – breathtaking!

Afterwards we drove up to Westport, stopping for dinner in Greymouth, where Dad’s meat was brought out on a hot stone slab for cooking. Later I noticed these places all over Australia, so that must be big down there.