Travel Story «Christchurch to Franz Josef »

New Zealand | 0 Comments 25 November 2008 - Last Update 30 November 2008

Hi Guys,



We're back and in the travelling cockpit once again...WHAT?? It only took 3 years!!!! 

After a very turbulent flight from Sydney we arrived in Christchurch at 3pm NZ time Sunday 23rd Nov and made our way straight to our great little hostel called Stonehurst. Dropped our bags off and went exploring the city. Christchurch on a Sunday is almost as dead as the morgue BUT we dug deep and searched high and low to find an awesome (yes we say awesome now!) award winning bar and seafood restaurant. We had their famous award winning beer battered fish with buffalo wedges.....drooooooool... the fish just melted in your mouth it was so fresh, straight off the boat here. 

The bar guy told us to go find Lordship Lane which is Sol Square to find some lively good bars. We found one. It was called cartel and it was a really funky little hidden gem decked out with funky 50's furniture and some agreeably 'weird' staff to match :)

We spent the whole night there firstly just listening to the tunes they were playing then to the DJ(s) that came in playing funky breaks and beats. The MC was completely off his head on 'something' and when you listened closely he was actually rapping about things like the decorations in the bar and the color of the walls etc...mad :-/

After one too many whiskeys and the thoughts of our early bus the next morning we peeled ourselves from the good vibes and returned to the good hostel.

Early start the next morning. We got a free pickup from the hostel to the train station to hop on the Tranz Alpine train to a place called Greymouth on the west of NZ South Island.

The train in all takes 4 hours to go from the east to west of the island and the scenery going across is amazing. It goes through the Alps here which are basically massive snow capped mountain ranges with classic pine trees dotted around their base. Really nice.
 Unfortunately it rained almost the whole way which is typical for this time of year but it didn't taint the experience for us..Good Irish upbringing and all...

We were delayed getting in to Greymouth and had seconds to hop from the train to the next bus that would take us to Franz Josef which we did manage to make! It was a groolsome 3 1/2 hour journey across a very bumpy road on a tiny tiny shuttle bus, but we finally arrived in Franz Josef village early afternoon. We had a 1/2 day hike booked on the glacier the following day but UNFORTUNATELY the trek was cancelled due to crazy crazy rain....let's just say it never stopped raining for our 2days there.....the road up to the glacier was closed due to the side of the hill falling away and completely blocking the that was pretty disappointing seeing as that was one of our highlights of the trip! But we made the most of a bad situation and decided to spend the day in natural hot thermal pools........these were basically set in a rainforest and had three different pools ranging from 36-39 degrees.....pretty amazing!! Afterwards, we visited a museum of the glacier so we could only slightly imagine what the hike would have been like, oh well I guess we will just have to come back!

We decided to call Franz Josef a sleepy little town/village as that is exactly how it was for us, some lovely little cafe's/restaurants and bars dotted around the place all with outdoor open fires.......pretty nice and well needed as gets Freezing in the evening's! We went out for a fantastic meal that evening and had a whole open fire to ourselves.....then it was back to the hostel for a game of scrabble! We had an early start the next morning at 8am to our next stop Queenstown "The Adventure Capital of the world" scrabble! 

Hasta Luego,

Corona & Dave x







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