Goodbye Sandflies and Rain – Day 17-19 

Although we have had more rain then we wished we are trying to be positive and are still enjoying our time in New Zealand. One thing we love about Australia and New Zealand (among few of the countries who work this way) is the restaurants. Not the food they serve but the way they function. Typically you order at the bar, get a number, they deliver your food and leave you alone! You have already paid you bill and can take your time or rush if needed. 

Why do American restaurants want to have waitresses be so involved in your meal? Today we had one girl running the bar, clearing tables, taking orders, and serving food. In America there would have been at least 3 people. 

Also, no tipping. Restaurant staff is paid well and are expected to do the job they are paid for. 

Day 17 

After a rainy first day at Franz Gacier we woke to rain yet again. We had a scheduled helicopter ride into of Fox Glacier and a hike on the glacier. Sadly, due to the low clouds they had to cancel the trip. We rebooked for the next morning in hopes for better weather. 

Instead of glacier hiking we decided to hike to the base of Fox Glacier, a few viewpoints, and a local lake. 

Right as we reached the base of the glacier the sun decided to try and come out. The glacier had a neat formation at the bottom. 


The lake is known to mirror the mountains in the reflection. But, due to clouds we did not get much of a reflection but still enjoyed our easy walk around the lake. 

You could say David is not as into nature as I am. He has been a sport going on all the hikes, listening to me talk about the cool trees, moss, birds and how much I love to be outside. I feel like our next big trip might be more David style, I owe it to him. 

We enjoyed a large late lunch at a cafe with a goal to eat sandwiches for dinner. After much hiking and our rescheduled 6:50am reattempt to heli hike we hit the sack early. 

Day 18 

A 5:30am alarm is never enjoyable. No matter what the reason. We packed our bags, and drove back to Fox Glacier where we waited to hear if we could fly. They canceled the 6:50 flight once again. Our plan was to sleep for a few hours in the car if the flight was canceled before we started our drive to Wanaka. Instead we rescheduled for the 7:50am flight. The skies looked like they were clearing some! The guides informed us that the flight was ok but at any moment it could be canceled due to a shift in the weather. 

We got all of our gear on: socks, boots, rainproof pants and jackets. Then the pilot canceled the flight. At least we tried! 

Not having time to wait around for a slim chance for another flight we took off for Wanaka, about a 4hr drive. We drove through rain until about an hour outside of our destination. The way the mountains sit the wet climate is on the west coast. Once you cross over the mountain range it is a much dryer climate. 

We made multiple stops along Hasst Pass to see waterfalls and the Blue Pools. 

Due to the recent rain the waterfalls were really flowing! 

The Blue Pools was a short 30min walk down to the river. Although it was cloudy the water was still pure blue and clear! Many locals were jumping off of the swing bridge into the water. 

Crossing over the mountains we had fantastic views of the lakes and even blue skies! Finally!!!

We arrived at a very nice holiday park (rv camping, tent camping and small cabins) right outside of Wanaka. We enjoyed a stroll along the lake, dinner outside in the sun and ice cream for a treat. 

I almost forgot to mention, no more sandflies!!! Once you cross over the mountains they are very scarce.

Day 19 

Only staying in Wanaka for one night as a stopover, between the glaciers and Queenstown, we took advantage of an outfitter who offered quad biking. I am thankful I had a friend growing up with an ATV or else it might have been a scary experience. 

We were in a small group of 5 people which made it more fun as we were able to stop less often and go faster. The trail we took we on top of the mountain through farmland that was home to 1,500 sheep! The track was full of bumps with multiple tight turns. 

We reached the top with no problems to enjoy some amazing views. It was hard to capture it in a few photos. I took multiple GoPro videos that will be posted once we return and have time to go through everything. 

We spent a little over 2 hours on the quads. And even learned about the gold rush that took place in this area. 

Due to an early quad bike tour we arrived in Queenstown right after lunch time. We were able to check into our motel (one bedroom apartment) which will be home for the next 3 nights. We walked around in town scoping out a good lunch joint. We decided on pizza, you can’t go wrong there! I must say we are far from foodies when traveling to certain places. 

After lunch we traveled 20min to Arrowtown. A small gold rush town that has nice views while driving. There are many historical buildings still intact right along the river. 

We spent some time walking around viewing the sights. On our way back to Queenstown we stopped at the shotover river to watch the jet boats zip up and down the river. 

We spent our evening relaxing, playing cards, watching tv and enjoying the views from our sofa. 

Tomorrow we have a few more fun activities planned that will happen rain or shine.  


One thought on “Goodbye Sandflies and Rain – Day 17-19 

  1. What beauty awaits when the clouds dissipate! Great pictures.

    The four-wheelers look fun after all that hiking you’re putting David through.

    Love Blue Pools–what a marked contrast the water is to the barren glacier bottom (there’s a [visual] metaphor in there somewhere if you want to go deep, no pun intended!).


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