von Hokotika nach Fox Glacier
Around the World,  New Zealand

Fox Glacier

Today’s destination is Fox Glacier.

This is a small town on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand, which derives its name from the glacier that hangs high in the mountains, the Fox Glacier. To get there you have to cross the Cook Strait to the South Island and then a long way “down” the west coast to the south.

Given the time we have available, this can only be achieved by plane. The route leads from Wellington to Christchurch, where we change to Hokitika, take a rental car there and drive around 140km to Fox Glacier. That is the plan.

Since our plane doesn’t take off until the early afternoon, we still have time to take the cable car up to the observatory and the botanical garden. This is a type of inclined elevator on rails that has been transporting people over a distance of around 600m since 1902, overcoming a height difference of 120m.

Once at the top of the hill you have a wonderful view over Wellington and the bay. Of course there is also a museum with a souvenir shop, but it is much nicer to walk through the well-kept botanical garden and enjoy the view. In fact, the cable car is not only used by tourists, but residents of the hills still enjoy taking the historic vehicle straight down to Wellington’s largest shopping street and back up again.

To get to the airport today we use public transport and get on the AX bus directly in front of our hotel. A trip by bus here is almost like a sight seeing tour through a foreign city. On the route the bus passes through a tunnel that is so narrow that you think the large vehicle would never fit through it. But of course, the driver has probably already tested this successfully more than twice, and so we arrive at Wellington airport on time and safely.

The next surprise awaits us here. After receiving our boarding passes and dropping off our suitcases, we head to security. Vain! There are no tapes here to screen all of your hand luggage and your own bags. Rather, you go straight to the boarding gate without any further hassle. What a country!

The sun shines down from an almost cloudless sky throughout the morning and also during the flight to Christchurch. Even at the start in Christchurch there is still sunshine. But the further we get closer to the west coast, the more the sky gets darker. Not nice at all!

Once we arrive in Hokitika, there is no longer a patch of blue sky to be seen. In fact, it was almost uncomfortably cool when we picked up our rental cars to drive to Fox Glacier. That’s such a shame because in this weather we unfortunately can’t see anything of the impressive backdrop of the high mountains to our left.

In the last few kilometers the road winds adventurously up and down again and we are glad that it is not raining yet and that the road surface offers good grip.

But as soon as we arrived at the “Westhaven Motel” in Fox Glacier, it started pouring rain. And that’s really not an exaggeration! Extremely heavy rain drummed on the roof of our room almost all night long. Hopefully we don’t get washed away!

At this point I definitely have to highlight the “The Westhaven Motel” positively: the rooms are relatively large with their own terrace, the bathroom is excellently equipped and sparkling clean and the beds also deserve the rating valuable. With this house we have once again managed to get lucky. When I think of the Orana in the North Island! Good night!


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