Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘Te Waka a Aoraki’

Lake Matheson, Westland National Park, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand,

New Zealand: Lake Matheson & the southern Alps at sunset

Rewards go to the patient, especially those on daytime walks through the temperate rainforest to the Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier.

After all, this area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After my visit to Fox Glacier earlier in the day, I arranged for a short 10-minute shuttle from Fox Glacier town to Lake Matheson (Te Ara Kairaumati) before sunset. Even in winter’s low-season, I was surprised by how few people were around to enjoy the view.

The sequence of photos below span a period of just over one hour in time. Appearing in most of the photos are the two grand snow-frosted peaks: Mount Tasman (Horokoau) on the left and Aoraki (Mount Cook) on the right.

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Fox Glacier, Westland National Park, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

New Zealand: forest walk to Fox Glacier

With coach services, I’ve been making my way down the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. I spend a couple of days around Franz Josef town, and I describe the walk from town to the Franz Josef Glacier.

Will a visit to the Fox Glacier be as memorable? To find out, I head south on Highway 6 (Haast Highway) to Fox Glacier town (formerly Weheka), some 20 kilometres from Franz Josef town.

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New Zealand: slow bound to Franz Josef Glacier

To a person, from the InterCity coach driver to the proprietors of motels along the South Island’s west coast, everyone spoke about how the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are two of the most accessible glaciers in the world. All things being equal, reaching the glaciers is definitely easier with a vehicle.

But I’m on New Zealand’s South Island, in the middle of a rainforest, and within the Westland National Park which is part of a UNESCO Heritage Site. I’m in no rush; so I think I’ll spare the trees from the expelled products of a combustible engine.

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Christchurch train station, Addington, New Zealand,

New Zealand: TranzAlpine from Christchurch to Greymouth

After experiencing various aspects of Christchurch (one, two, three, and four), it’s time to make the journey over to the muchly-anticipated Westland on the South Island of New Zealand.

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KiwiRail Coastal Pacific train, Picton to Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand,

New Zealand: Coastal Pacific from Picton to Christchurch

Previously: on board the Interislander ferry to cross New Zealand’s Cook Strait from Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South Island.

There are cheaper or faster ways to travel between Wellington and Christchurch. But I love boats, and I love trains. So, an alternative is a trip with KiwiRail Scenic Journeys, combining boat and train. After 3.5 hours, the ferry across Cook Strait arrives in Picton at 1140am. I make my way out of the ferry terminal, and walk the short path to the train station nearby. My luggage on the ferry is automatically transferred onto the train, as I’ve paid for both legs of the trip in its entirety.

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