Getting to Fox and Franz-Jospeh glaciers is just no fun. The only way is a long (8H+) drive from the north coast or 5H+ drive from Queenstown. Google maps does give faster time estimates, but unless it's me driving, and I don't get blocked on the windy roads where you can barely pass, the google time estimates based on the speed limit, are just not realistic.
So, I asked Penny from boutique travel, our agent who booked all our trip, to prefer busses over driving whenever possible, so that gave us the 10.5H bus ride (which included 3, 30-45mn stops).
We left Nelson bright and early at 07:15, and this gave me a chance to practise low power usage on my laptop since there was no power on the bus and the driver didn't agree to me plugging into his cigarette ligher adapter. I ended up using my tablet to watch videos while sorting pictures on my laptop (not playing video on the laptop saved the batteries somewhat).
While I expected the bus ride to be boring as hell outside of my own devices and reading material, the stops were actually very well chosen, and let me take the pictures below. It wasn't a tour bus, but the few scenic stops almost made it like one:
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Paparoa National Park
Eventually we arrived in Greymouth where the transalpine train from Christchurch, arrives. I had considered taking that train, but it just didn't match our travel itinerary and the fact that we were skipping Christchurch which hasn't yet quite recoverd from the earthquake destruction some years back.
Soon after, we stopped by a small kiwi center and zoo and a beach that happened to have an art contest, almost burning man-like:
crayfish are like crab, they're greedy so you can fish them out after they grab a piece of food :)
The town of Hokitika was actually fun to see for 30mn:
evolution of man?
this one must have been work
After this fun, it was time for going back on the bus and arriving at Fox Glacier a few hours later:
the weather was starting to turn as we got closer
Long bus ride, we were glad when we got out :) .
wisdom from the restaurant we had dinner at