Westport to Haast

I left Westport and drove the costal route,  the main Highway 6, down the rugged and beautiful west coast; even by New Zealand standards, this is an extremely deserted part of the country, with the Tasman sea to your right and palm trees, forests and mountains to your left, you pass bays, coves and beaches that seem idyllic, yet are completely uninhabited………..

 

As you get further south, the southern alps appear on your left, pushing themselves out towards the coastline; you pass the Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers, which spill out from the southern alps towards the Tasman sea………..

I drove as far as the costal township of Haast, where I found a little Motel for the night……..

 

Leaving Westport on Highway 6……..Wednesday 27th Feb 2013, 08.45, it’s rush hour…………………….. but somebody forgot to tell New Zealand……………….

 

 

 
First sighting of the southern alps from the west coast……………….

 Below, the Franz Joseph Glacier, where I took the long hike (1.5 hours) up the huge valley to get as close as you can get to the ice-face (500 meters)

One of many waterfalls in the valley
Looking back down the valley towards the Tasman sea
One of the many smaller lakes that you come across………………
And below, a few kilometers from the Franz Joseph Glacier, I was struck by the ice blue colour of the glacial water, rushing down from the southern alps towards the Tasman sea………………..

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