Day 27 Lake Matheson – it was important to get here early not only to beat the crowds but to beat any changes to the warm still morning we were lucky to wake up to. Our experience here – a perfect reflection of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman – in the still waters of the lake was entirely weather and nature dependant!
The easy one hour return walk from an impressive visitor centre and gift shop already busy with coach loads of tourists, took us over a suspension bridge – long-suffering no longer groans at these – through native forest to a stepped tiered pontoon out above the dark brown waters of Lake Matheson.
And for the most part it was a perfect reflection, except when one little duck paddled quietly through the outer edges. And then it was a jostle to get the perfect shot without random heads, of which I failed!
Fox Glacier valley walk – moderate 2.6km return over mostly easy tracks with a steep hard climb as we neared the Glacier view-point.
This walk takes you to approximately 500m from the front of the Glacier although it is constantly moving so that can change quickly with ice/rock falls or high waters in and around the rocky canyon.
Another very clear hot day and uphill exertions saw sweating man return as we neared the view-point with the hordes of others coming and going on this busy track.
With the glacier in continued retreat, it is sad to think future generations may not ever get to see this glacier at all.
Lake Ianthe – off itinerary lunch stop, beautiful lake to sit and enjoy our lunch, another couple joined us on the picnic table and we spent a good hour chatting companionably together about our travels in this beautiful country.
Pancake Rocks – not on our intended route but worth every bit of the extra kilometres covered, over an hours drive up from Arthur’s Pass gave us chance to see the unusual and unique rock formations looking every bit like stacked pancakes!
Loop walk – thirty minute return along paved paths. Lovely easy walk with strategic viewpoints overlooking, rock formations, crashing seas and blowholes.
Arthur’s Pass – beautiful scenes as we drove along this long stretch of road.
Through gorges, steep winding roads, a one lane bridge shared with a train – Kumara Junction Bridge – viaduct, photo stops galore….
Eventually taking us to the best Freedom Camp ever for our last night in Aramoana….