Glacias at Franz Joseph and brain boggling Wanaka
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
New Zealand - Franz Joseph and Wanaka
After our first night in the campervan car park in Franz (that said 'No overnight parking'), we continued to stay there another night (rebels), did the Franz Joseph glacia tour, had a night on the beers in Franz, drove down to Wanaka where we visited the mind boggling 'Puzzling World' and drove the rest of the way to Queenstown where we found somewhere to stay (after 8 failed attempts at hostels.....bloody school holidays!). Here are some of the good bits:
1. Franz Joseph glacia trip - We decided to drive to the glacia tour centre, despite it being accross the road from us, which turned out to be a hazardous and pointless journey. Pointless because we ended up back in the car park we started in and hazardous because we drove around the block with our sliding door wide open! Ooops! Fortunately nothing fell out though so all was well. After gearing up and getting a ride to the glacia car park we had to walk along a rubbly quarry looking terrain for aboout 4km till we reached the foot of the glacia. Unfortunately the quarry was an optical illusion so it looked about 300m and therefore was a bit annoying when we had to walk for 30 mins! The glacia itself wasnt much to look at, resembling a pretty crappy looking, thoring ski slope! We attached our 'crampons' (not 'clampons' like I kept saying by mistake), which is a metal sole for each of your shoes and headed onto the ice! Throughout the day we slid through several ice caves, climbed up as far as the ice falls (almost the pinnacle of the glacia) and did a lot of moving up and down ridges in the ice waiting patiently for our tour guide to stop chizzling out steps and making love to his pick axe! We made our own pack lunch for the day which we ate, sitting on the ice overlooking the icy formations down below. The glacia looked far more impressive when you were on it than it did from the bottom. When we reached the bottom we were all shattered and the last thing any of us wanted to do was walk back along the bloody 4km quarry! Later we had to give it a min before getting on the bus because our feet were on fire!!
2. Night out in Franz Joseph - we arranged to meet up with Ross and Laura after the trip for a thermal spa session (free entry with the glacia trip) and a few beers down town. The spa was quality and gave us all a chance to soak our acking feet, not to mention warm up from the chilly glacia. We were becoming experts on these thermal pools so we didnt bother going in each one just to say we had been in them, instead sticking to the warmest ones for the most relaxation! We're getting too old for travelling! Later we had some food and met up with Ross in the bar with flames outside it! It was quite expensive in here so we only stayed for a couple then went searching for the Blue Ice bar which was meant to be cheaper and the Italian guy from our trip had some free shot vouchers! We found it and got some good rounds in when it was happy hour so it didnt cripple us, then we watched the gay pork chop guy try and make pole dancing look easy, Han displayed some moves on the pole which would make any strip club proud, then we all felt sorry/scared for the poor Italian guy who was about to be eaten alive by the girl from our trip (the human predator).
3. Puzzling World - We set off early from Franz to hopefully get to Wanaka for midday so we had plenty of time to visit Puzzling World, a mind boggling astablishment that we were told about by Tom and Bethan! The place truely was puzzling in every sense. To start with we went in the optical illusion rooms where things look like they are coming out at you or faces follow you everywhere you go. Spooky! Then we went in the mad room where the whole thing was on a slant one way but the furniture sloped the other so things looked as if they rolled or slid naturally uphill! Finally was the Lord of the Rings enlargement room which looks like a normal room, but actually the floor and ceilings are slanted so one side makes you look huge and the other makes you look tiny! Me and Han set up a timer on the camera and put it on the window ledge so I look massive compared to her......what some would call illusion others call muscle! haha After all the illusions we did The Great Maze which was undoubtedly Hannah's favourite part........../ worst thing she ever did in her life. Throughout the maze we heard a lot of "I hate bleeping mazes!!" but she did get into it at one point, the point where I tripped over and almost face planted the stairs up to one of the checkpoints!! Typical! Before we left we took a few funny photos, 2 outside pretending to hold up the puzzling world tower and one in the medieval style toilets with my bare bottom out, to the disgust of a mother who walked by and gave us the evils!
4. Queenstown accommodation - The drive to Queenstown from Wanaka was very scenic and funny because Han got us stuck in some ice! We were driving along the highest road in NZ so we stopped off at a viewpoint to grab a quick photo. Unfortunately it was very icy and Han got us stuck on the way out, needing me and a random bypasser get out and push us off again!! We had decided to pay for a hostel for the night since it was going to be so cold in Q'town, so we stopped off at Bunji's hostel, just on the outskirts of town. This hostel only had two beds spare but in different rooms so we turned it down and left with the alarm bells whirring in the wind. We then drove to a nice looking hostel which we started getting a bit excited about.......only to find this was completely full also! The alarm bells started ringing a bit after the next unsuccessful attempt to get accommodation because it was getting dark now and we would probably die if we had to sleep the night on the side of the road. Luckily after 4 more 'no room at the inn's' we found the Top 10 caravan park who let us stay, with power for $24! We were pretty relieved and had a nice, warm evening cooking in the warm camp site kitchen, watching tv by the fire finally sleeping with our little heater fan on all night!! Toasty!
Thats all folks. Thanks for reading another monster and look forward to the blog for Queenstown which is probably the best place we visited in New Zealand.