As with any big trip, you’re bound to hit that storm that ruins your plans entirely. That happened to us in Franz Josef. After a peaceful stay at The Hexagon, we made a quick pitstop at the stunning Hokitika Gorge before continuing onwards to the very rainy town of Franz Josef.
We were quite excited to go and explore this glacial region. We were all geared up for our Heli-Hike, however, when it was cancelled due to the impending storm.
We decided to drive to the glacier instead, and walked the Sentinel Rock route for a (usually) impressive viewpoint. Despite being hazy, we caught a brief glimpse of what could-be had the fog not started to roll in.
More than disappointed, we checked into YHA Franz Josef and had high expectations after our experience staying with them in Wellington. They didn’t disappoint.
With a spacious common area, TV lounge, large kitchen, comfortable beds, and high-speed WiFi, YHA Franz Josef had everything we needed for a rainy day in. With use of their facilities, I was able to get plenty of work done!
The following day, unfortunately, wasn’t any better weather-wise. We had no choice but to drive the typically-scenic Haast Pass to Wanaka. We decided to make the most of it and stopped at a few locations along the way.
Thunder Creek Falls.
We couldn’t see much once we got to Hawea Lake, however, the clouds broke for a split second…just enough time for me to snap this shot!
Wet roads, poor visibility, and pitstops has the ability to make for a very long day. Six hours after leaving Franz Josef, we arrived in Wanaka and checked into YHA Purple Cow, totally exhausted. Fingers crossed for better weather!
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**Special thanks to YHA Hostel and Air New Zealand for sponsoring our journey. As always, all opinions are my own. Photographs taken by David M Gallo Photography.