We were heading up to the west coast where we had planned to stay in a lot of DOC camp sites. I will be completing another page dedicated to our DOC experiences so no more about them for now. We had another great drive through Haast pass with a few stops for some mini walks along the way. The clouds had started to come over so when we got to the glaciers we couldn't see much at all. The walk up to Franz Joseph was spectacular enough and after enquiring about tours to the glaciers we realised our budget wouldn't stretch to actually going onto the glaciers we hoped for better weather tomorrow. We were rewarded for our patience and went to both Fox and Franz. The walks to them are really nice but the most exciting part was when we were admiring Fox and a huge chunk of ice creaked and then crumbled into the river, it was epic! It didn't take as long as we thought to 'do' the glaciers and were back on the road towards Hokitika where we had whitebait pizza and admired the driftwood sculptures. We took a detour inland towards a gorge that I had read about and the detour paid off. The water rivalled Patagonia and the walk was short but sweet.
Our next stop along the west coast was Punakiki rocks. They were formed ages ago and are changing all the time due to the waves crashing against them. We timed it perfectly and hit it at high tide. Mother Nature really showed us who is boss with a spectacular performance of vision and sound. We went on two walks around the area. Our favourite walk, probably of the trip so far was to some caves. We didn't see anyone else along the trial and although there were some sporadically placed markers we felt like true explorers. We waded through two rivers clambered up and down rocks and the grand finale was exploring a cave with only one head torch to guide us. I screamed almost immediately as I thought I saw a person, James took over the lead and we realised, with relief it was only a rock jutting out of the cave. We went on two shorter walks near our campsite and the next day settled in Westport for a refresh and some much needed electricity to power the camera.