Day 4: Wanaka – Hokitika, Rain, 22ºC max, 12ºC min.
The time we spent in Wanaka was memorable. The region is breathtakingly beautiful, our luxurious accommodation provided a tranquil haven for us to rest, relax and enjoy family time.
Mum woke early to make breakfast for all of us. We love how everyone gathered in one house, around the same dining table, filling the room with mindless chatters from the little ones, coupled with their chuckles over simple things.
When we were ready to leave Wanaka, we were faced with a “puzzle” to solve! After Shen and Davis left in the early morning, Shen left us his snowboard, for us to help him carry it with us for the next 6 days before we see him again in Auckland.
That was J solving the puzzle as he tried to rearrange everyone’s luggage including Shen’s snowboard such that everything could fit into the car boot. We must have spent at least 20 min working at it, until Mum suggested we should all pray for God to impart wisdom so that we could take everything with us and not have to leave anything behind. And God helped us! Shortly after Mum’s prayer, J found a way to fit everything in, perfectly. Praise the Lord!
Our next destination is Hokitika! The journey would have taken us 5 hrs along a total of 420 km if we had not stopped at the Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson.
Before arriving at the Fox Glacier, we dropped by the iSite at Haast for a toilet break, and to enquire more information. It was drizzling by then, and that was Matthew holding little E’s hand as they walked towards the iSite. What a lovely sight!
Fox Glacier is located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It is one of the few glaciers to end among lush rainforest only 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level.
By the time we arrived at the glacier, the drizzle had become a light shower. The area was grey and the weather was truly dreich. It was a mix of dull, overcast, drizzly, cold, and misty weather. It reminded me of the Athabasca Glacier of the Columbia Icefield, in the Canadian Rockies.
Little E had on her Matthew’s hooded jacket to add warmth to her teensy body, while Bella and Daniella had on them waterproof outerwear that came so handy with such a weather. They held little E’s hands and trekked along with us.
And that was J with the kiddos, before he started the pebble throwing game with Josh. By the way, we were all amazed at Josh’s accuracy. He was really good with his aim.
Due to the lamentable weather, it was difficult to catch a decent view of the glacier. Hence, we headed back and decided to go check out Lake Matherson, which was formed as a kettle lake within one of the many moraines left behind by the retreating glacier.
Lake Matherson is famous for its reflected views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. On a clear day, it is possible to capture the perfect photograph of snow-capped Mount Cook reflected in the dark waters of the lake. It was a pity that the weather was miserable for us today, obscuring the picture-perfect view we came to see by the mirror lake.
Nonetheless, we had so much fun walking and running through the hiking trail with JMIDM. Oh! And this was also the first time Matthew and Little E switched prams and sat in each other’s stroller! Matthew’s 10 yo Phil & Teds™ 3-wheeled stroller must have been so comfortable that Little E sat in it the entire 40 min while we were hiking to see the lake and back to the car park.
By the time we finished trekking, we drove a further 23 km to Franz Josef and reached the town at about 6 pm. Due to the lack of time, we couldn’t trek a further 5 km by foot to see the Franz Josef Glacier. Hence, we settled down to have dinner by a prominent Fish & Chips stall. Besides having battered fish and Kumara wedges, we also tummied down half a roast chicken we bought from 4Square, while Mum and Dad shared a pie which was overpriced.
After the quick and satisfying dinner, we drove another 134 km for nearly 2 hrs to reach Hokitika at approximately 8.30 pm. It was still bright due to the extended daylight of summertime. We all settled down and waited for the sun to set, so that we could go see the glow worms that can be found just 500 metres away from Fitzherbert Court, where we stayed for tonight.
It was a very long day for us all today. We are very thankful that our little ones did so well with the long travel and packed itinerary we had for the day.
Thank You O’ Lord for granting us safe travel and opportunities to love each other and to be able to freely enjoy the company and spending time with each and every one within our close-knitted family, even through times when fatigue and poor weather dampen our spirits. Thank You for being the Vine that binds us all together. May we be fruitful branches that will bring You glory. We pray these in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.