The evening clouds over Fox Glacier village.
When daylight broke we headed a bit eastwards to get a respectable view of the Mount Cook massive and its associated glaciers.
For a change, we actually had some overcast that clouded the peak of the Southern Alps. However, the Fox glacier is the one to the left. Fox is in bad shape and its volume is rapidly decreasing.
Half an hour later, we checked Fox's cousin the Franz Josef glacier, which is depicted above. Its health is also frail.
Franz Josef Glacier's public toilets come with classical music during one's "session" and a time limit of 10 minutes before a robot wipes your behind and unlocks the door. According to the signs, P-ing has to take place 200 meters away ;-)
The Silver Fern koru (i.e. a new unfurling frond) is an important symbol in Māori art, carving and tattooing, where it symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace.
Farther along the coast of the Tasman Sea we passed through Ross where an operation dredging for alluvial gold is still ongoing.
|An almost picturesque junkyard along the main street in Ross village.|
En route to our lunch stop we enjoyed dry sunny and warm weather and beautiful cumulus clouds – not the typical we(s)t coast conditions.
Arrived in Hokitika we lunched, strolled and shopped locally produced and carved jade, a rock type sacred to the Maori.
|A 1400 kg piece of jade, worth at least NZ$ 200,000.|
Hokitika is right on the coast of the Tasman Sea.
The final stage of our coach tour was the climbing and winding road from the west coast eastwards and up to Arthur's Pass ...
... where we got on the TranzAlpine train and headed for Christchurch.
The train ride took us through wonderful landscapes ...
... and over daring constructions.
. . .
We have said goodbye to our fellow travellers of the coach tour 2,268 km around the South Island and tomorrow we will continue our journey as a twosome heading once again to Hanmer Springs.
Stay tuned for new adventures in the coming weeks.