We left the "Poo Pub" at 9:30 and made our way through the coastal rainforests to Franz Josef. Most of the way we drove along State Highway 6 (SH6) which is supposed to be a top 10 scenic drive world wide.
We stopped at Pukekura (another place with a population of 8) at the Bushman's Center and for a $4 admission saw a movie on how people jumped of helicopters to capture deer for NZ deer farms. There was a massive wild pig which one guy fed as well as a couple of possums. This was a fun place to stop and the guy who runs it was worth the price of admission alone. He is truly politically incorrect and doesn't care, I will post a photo to prove it in a while.
We got to Franz at about 12:30, did a walk to see the glacier from a distance and then I signed up for Ice Climbing - one of my top 3 "to do's". I then ate dinner and slept because we start the ice climbing trip the next day at 7:45 am. The Rainforest Retreat hostel is a dump and is full of mildew and fungus. It is the first crappy hostel I have stayed at.
The ice climbing was cool, literally. We climbed on the glacier for about 2 hours to get to our ice walls. We saw some "blue ice" which is what everyone wants to see not the dirty ice covered in glacial till. We did 5 climbs ranging from about 15 meters to over 20 meters and I was too tired to conquer the final climb. We saw some Kea parrots and despite the rain (this is still rain forest) I had a great time. I want to try it again in Canada. The trip was expensive and I am tired so that is all that happened on the 11th. Well worth the stop, who cares about looking at ice when you can climb it. I had one stupid fall, not during the climbing, and bashed up my bionic leg so I am paying for this fun.
This activity was not covered by my travel insurance - it used ropes and carabiners for climbing so my tally for activities not covered by insurance is at 3.
Our next stop is Wanaka
I will update you about it another time because my internet time is running short. That and photos will come soon.