Day 31- Fri 8th
Had a nice cooked breakfast this morning and not a very early start which was much appreciated. It was a long day travelling to Franz Josef. Along the way we made stops, once at a Jade factory which is quite commonly found in that area. Got to our hotel the Rainforest Retreat late afternoon so had a walk around the local area, it was pretty small and only a few shops. Had our included meal and then went to bed, not a very interesting stay.
Day 32- Sat 9th
We got up and left our hotel by 7am today, as you can imagine we were pretty tired and not so bushy tailed. We drove to the Fox Glacier which was only a short ride from Franz Josef. Here we did our glacier trek which was amazing. We got kitted up in walking boots and then began our 2.5km trek. It doesn't sound much but it was not on very flat surfaces. We trekked through rainforest which was great, saw waterfalls and it was baking hot. Had to go really close to the edge of very high mountain side…was quite scary. Got to the edge of the glacier where we had to put on spikes on our walking boots. The glacier was tricky to walk on at first, had to stomp around so that our spikes dug into the ice. Got cold after a while so we headed back to the rainforest and then retraced our steps to the starting point.
We got back on the coach for a 6 hour trip to Queenstown, we are staying at the Queenstown Lodge for 3 nights. The Lodge isn't in the centre of town but it's on a hill just outside and has some great views. After checking in and unpacking (it was nice to be somewhere for more than a night) we went to the Skyline. This was a cable car up the side of a mountain and at the top there was a really nice restaurant…we ate a little too much buffet! We then went into town to the World Bar which sold cocktails in teapots, was full of backpackers but was a good night.