Today was a day of travelling slowly and in a relaxed manner to Haast, with the plan being to stop there for the night on our way to Fox Glacier for our tour tomoro.
We stopped at the first information centre we came across and picked up a walking map for $2!!! I put the three exclamation marks because that is a lot of money for a bloody one page leaflet, and seeing as I picked up about 23 BOOKS of information for free in Wanaka we thought this was a tad extortionate. Hey ho the guy was really nice and recommended the top 4 walks out of the 12 marked on the map (considering it was raining quite a bit we weren’t really up for an 8hour hike in the rain) and we set off again.
First stop was Blue Pools – and indeed they were blue as can be! Basically the colour of my waterproof jacket those of you that have seen it – stunning colour. We walked along a little 20 minute track through the trees and then it opened put onto decking and a cool swing bridge which moved with every step over crystal clear yet bright blue waters. We could see the trout swimming around and the two bridges were fun.
Like I said – beautiful blue water.
Next stop was Fantail Falls where we sadly did not see a native Fantail bird, but it was pretty nonetheless. Next was Thunder Creek Falls (yep all waterfalls along this road) and then Roaring Billy – that was the biggest. And it was raining the least which was a bit nicer for us. All day had been a steady ziri miri, or heavy drizzle. The Roaring Billy waterfall walk opened out onto a big grey rocky beach, and we got lots of photos of all the little rock piles people had built. Weird how people do that aye.
We made it to Haast town and were immediately like, okaaay this is a bit of a weird feeling. There were just a few tourists walking about looking for something – but about 2 places you could get food and a petrol station and about 5 houses. Through hunger we ate lunch at what seemed like sitting in the corner of a shop called The Hungry Cow… whatever it was tasty quick food and we left shortly afterwards in search if Haast Beach we kept seeing signs for. After a somewhat way too long a drive along a dead straight road along the beach but with nowhere to park we turned back and parked in and petrol station and walked over a dune to get to the actual beach. Now it was very very pretty this beach – huge and long and grey and with amazing driftwood everywhere – but we literally were there for 5 minutes before we couldn’t stand the biting flies anymore and ran back to Joe! Uff we were getting bitten so much it just wasn’t enjoyable.
After a discussion and a coffee we decided to drive on to Fox to sleep there as we were just getting a weird kind of feeling here in Haast… not bad just cold and dead and soul less. So we drove on and when we got to Fox we were so glad we did. The atmosphere was great and there were tons of people everywhere walking and shopping and eating and drinking so we quickly put our Joe into a campervan park and went out for a drink to the closest bar which looked like a saloon – it was so cool we ended up eating a humungous bowl of nachos there for dinner. After food we popped into the tour place we were booked with for tomoro and moved our places forward an hour – the weather had been pretty shite today driving up but the girl said they’d still gone on all their trips today so you just can’t tell until 5 minutes before. So we crossed our fingers for tomoro and returned to Joe for the night. As the sun was setting I vainly tried to get some pictures of the keas that were playing about in the trees above us, and then when they were hopping about on the ground. These birds are just so cool. They’re so intelligent all you need to do to get their attention is pretend you’re doing something and they’ll come over to have a look. Love em. They were bloody noisy though when we got in bed for the night, apparently it was the juveniles screaming and playing and generally enjoying getting a reaction out of sleepy campers. ..