We headed out from the Awaroa Lodge to Wanaka. This was set up as a two-day trip with a stop at the western coastal glacier region along the way. We returned via sea taxi that picked us up at Awaroa Bay. After
wading to the boat we headed to Marahau in a 3 to 4 foot swell that let the boat get a little airtime along the way. When we reached Marahau, the boat was pulled aboard a boat trail pulled by a tractor. This arrangement took us across the wide beach and sand bars (it was close to low tide) and up on to shore. We were expecting to get off there, but no, we had a ways further to go. The tractor pulled the trailer and boat full of passengers down the road, in traffic, about a kilometer to the office for the water taxi company, where we unloaded.
From Marahau, we took a shuttle transfer back to the Nelson Airport where we headed south to the west coast. A longish (400+ km) scenic drive took us to Franz-Josef, a happening little town in the glacier region. The area of the town is in rainforest (we were fortunate to have dry weather on this segment of the trip). A short way away is the base of Franz-Josef Glacier. Fox and Franz-Josef are the only glaciers in the world that descend into rainforest.
On Monday, we headed to the glaciers and then on to Wanaka in the Lakes Region. This is a very scenic drive where you move from rainforest past some beautiful beaches on to the Lakes region. The Lakes Region is arid and mountainous. If we were plucked up and placed here blindfolded, we could easily believe that we are in Montana, except for the little issue of the side of the road that everyone drives on.
There’s supposed to be some good riding around Wanaka. We will let you know.