After a refreshing three days at Abel Tasman, it was time to head down the West Coast. The West Coast has very few people and very wild weather. This leads many to conclude that the people who live here are a little bit nuts. I won’t argue for one side or the other, but I will strongly suggest you visit the Bushman’s Centre. You can’t watch a 20 minute video of men jumping out of helicopters to catch deer anywhere else.
Of course, the West Coast is also beautiful. On the 3.5 days a year that it doesn’t rain, the coastal roads offer great views. I enjoyed the short walk at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks (the middle picture above). You can see a few blowholes and a lot of rocks that look like stacks of pancakes.
The craziest feature of the West Coast might be the glaciers. It’s still difficult for me to understand what the Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers are doing on the south island, but they’re definitely real! Here are some pictures from my full day hike on Franz Joseph:
This hike definitely makes my highlight reel. It was super fun to put on crampons, walk on the ice, and check out features like caves and crevasses.