DM and MM's New Zealand Trip Diary

Day 9 - Franz Josef Glacier to Greymouth

Wednesday, 12 March, 1997

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21:25. Greymouth YHA

Lazy day today - well, once we got past the excitement of the helicopter flight!

After waking and brekkying - which included a sample of the famous home made boysenberry yoghurt from the Franz Josef Glacier YHA (very yummy) - we checked out and then walked over to the Glacier Helicopter company. Thankfully the YHA guy managed to talk them into giving us the YHA 20% discount, even though our initial booking hadn't been through them. Thankfully we saved NZ$44 on the flight!

On top of Franz Josef Glacier

The helicopter ride took us up over the glacier and to a landing on some flattish snow near the top. Very spectacular and it was fun flying in a helicopter too. We crunched around on the snow for about 6-7 minutes - it was quite hard and large crystals, like it had been sitting in the sun several days (which of course it probably had). We flew back down and it was good too.

Flying back down in the helicopter

Back on the ground, we set off on the drive to Greymouth. We stopped at the dinky little town of Hari Hari for morning tea - scone and coffee for Michelle and a venison pie(!) and L&P for me. The venison pie was interesting - okay, but nothing special.

Lake Mapourika, north of Franz Josef

We also stopped in Hokitika, a much larger town - apparently a sort of beachside resort of sorts - browsed the numerous greenstone/jade and gold etc. shops. Some magnificent pieces of jade sculpture. We saw a glass blower at work, making a glass penguin. Ate lunch in the car, then drove on to Greymouth.

At Greymouth we checked in to the YHA, then wandered over the railway track into town. The quay by the river was rather grey and boring - the river is nothing much to look at. We bought some groceries and headed back to cook frittata for dinner. Played some games - backgammon and Pass the Pigs(TM) and veged basically while a fellow traveller soother us with some piano music.

Later we wandered out for ice cream - we looked so confused when the woman gave me a double scoop of passionfruit (I'd intended one of passionfruit and one of something else) that she added an extra scoop of blueberry on top. All for only NZ$1.50! Ice cream value strikes again!

Back to YHA, fresh and clean, and bed time.

Accommodation: YHA Greymouth: $34.
Food and drink: $21.60.
Glacier helicopter: $176.

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