After I have picked up all my stuff from the hotel, I continue to Okarito Beach, a beach covered with driftwood. Quite photogenic and despite the fact that it’s already in the middle of the day and sunny, the photographs come out nicely.
Soon it starts getting cloudy and I notice a dark mass hanging above the water that starts expanding. Not good. I walk for about 1.5 hours over the beach towards a bend. Very curious what’s around the corner.
The beach is more narrow here and covered with large rocks, the size of a family car. These have to come from somewhere and looking up I notice several vertical tracks with vegetation completely stripped away. Apparently these big boys are coming down on a regular basis.
It’s getting so narrow now that I have to keep a sharp lookout on the water. That’s lower now, than the high tide level I see on the rocks. I guess the tide is rising but I’m not absolutely sure about that. Just around the corner I can see that the beach with rocks continues for several hundred meters and I decide to go back.
At first I think I have found another piece of driftwood but it appears to be a dead seal. It’s very skinny but it seems it died not that long ago. Most probably it has been ill.
Back at the car I continue to Franz Josef Glacier, a village a bit further, close to the glacier. It’s completely clouded now. After having arranged a hotel I try to find out what hikes can be walked here. One goes to a gold mine that has glow worms, but that takes walking through cold water to see them. Furthermore, there are several hikes around the glacier.
One of them appeals the most to me because it goes to a lookout point high above the glacier. It’s a 5 hour round trip and currently it’s already too late to walk it. Better to do a couple of shorter walks today around the base of the glacier. I’ve been here before but it’s still nice to see it all again.
At the parking lot I eat a sandwich before going. Suddenly I feel a drop of water and another one and then it starts raining. Most likely the shower I saw earlier at the beach. After having waited a while in the car it starts raining much heavier and the sky darkens further. It’s three o’clock now and the best I can do is to get some sleep.
In between I wake up a couple of times, but it’s still raining. Around 21:00 I wake up for real. It’s dark outside but it has stopped raining. Later in the evening it rains a couple of times really hard. Very curious how tomorrow will look like.
Maps, Charts & Downloads
GPS Map with color coded altitude information
Color coded distance/altitude chart
Download the original gpx file gpx file here.