We headed straight towards Hokitika Gorge. A long drive with a view of acres and acres of farmlands followed by mountainous roads to reach the spot. It’s a beautiful greenish water gorge and worth that extra miles of drive. We returned to our booked place and were greeted by our host and the friendly furry dog Bruce. We went out for a walk and discovered the town. Hokitika is a small town with huge houses. There are few essential stores and tons of restaurants and hotels. During the Goldrush time, this place was a prime location but now mostly houses are vacant and people have moved to city areas. We enjoyed the view of the sea for some time and returned to our place after having a seafood platter and coffee. The temperature was close to 14 degrees. We had a conversation with our host who gladly explained us about the town and it’s history.
Book the lovely Glacier Valley Ecotour for your hikes to the glacier valleys of Franz Josef and Fox plus the picturesque Lake Matheson which gives some stunning 'mirror' photos (weather and ducks permitting). You need a guide to hike in the valleys anyway, and these guys take care of every need - food, hot drinks, even rain wear - we hiked all day in the rain and were bone dry. We were the only two people on that day, so it was a private tour! Our guide drove us off into a field into the countryside and we had lunch with an unobstructed view of Fox Glacier - could you ask for more?
Trained guides lead visitors up the Fox and Fran Josef glaciers, safeguarding both the ice field and their climbing groups. Located on the South Island’s western coast, the Fox and Fran Josef glaciers are among the steepest commercially-guided glaciers in the world. With crampons and pick, climbers carve their way along the solid, snowy mountains and consider the glacial movements that shaped the country’s unusual landscape.
And so, after a few expensive days and nights in Queenstown, Darren and I parted ways and I headed up to Franz Josef Township to take my 19,500-foot step into the void. New Zealand became a capital for skydiving because of several factors. The landscape is stunning, Kiwis are a daring lot by nature and about 10 years ago, a price war broke out among the various companies making the sport more affordable to consumers. It was often cheaper to skydive than make a bungie jump or a white-water rafting trip. Once the price war was over—the remaining companies are fairly large and were able to withstand the cut in profits—prices inched back up and companies like Nzone seeking to distinguish themselves by marketing the experience as a character-building exercise. I won’t go too much into the experience here, as I will let the story tell most of it, but I screamed, I wailed and when I landed I wanted to do it again. I said “fuck” a lot as the shakes from the adrenaline wore off. Damned if the marketers weren’t at least a little bit right. My fear of heights lay naked and beaten at my feet, at least for the moment.