From Te Anau we (read: I) drove to Wanaka via a lunch stop and a leg-stretch in Queenstown and a quick look around Arrowtown. Deciding we wouldn’t go skiing (too expensive – especially considering how ridiculously small even the “bigger” ski fields are) we continued towards Franz Joseph glacier the next day.
Despite being a long day of driving – due to the distance as well as the numerous stops one simply has to make to experience all the amazing bush walks, waterfalls etc on the way – it’s a really nice road trip.
From Wanaka you start slightly inland, along Lake Hawea, then again along Lake Wanaka, through Makarora, stopping at Blue Pools (an arm of the Makarora river with strikingly blue pools – hence the name – and incredibly huge fish), Thunder Creek Waterfall, Diana Falls, Haast Pass, passing Haast village on the banks of the Haast river (that Haast guy really did name everything he came across after himself), continuing over numerous one lane bridges until you finally see the West Coast for the first time.
After taking pictures at Knight’s Point you are almost at Fox Glacier (village). Since it was already getting dark, we drove on towards Franz Josef (village) where we stayed at the local YHA, saving the glaciers and Lake Matheson for the next day.