Follow Your Heart....Tom, Lorna & Joes Adventures 2004/5 travel blog

Jet Power Boating on Shotover River



Hi from Helen

West Coast


Frans Josef Glacier

We were up early to maximise the time, bearing in mind the huge distance we have to travel. We spent an hours power jet boating on the River Shotover which gave us a taste of the beautiful water and countryside around Queenstown. After brunch we drove to the glaciers a little further up the west coast. The journey was fantastic, no traffic and no dual carriageways, and a succession of single track bridges. The weather got worse and we had considerable rainfall. At the Fox Glacier they had had 15" of rain the night before and conditions were so dangerous the roads and paths to it were closed. We were dissapointed to say the least after our five hour journey, but battled on nonetheless to the Frans Josef Glacier, where we walked in our normal clothes in the pouring rain to see the glacier. It was magnificent and very different, but no less spectacular than the ones in Argentina. The fact that we looked like a pack of drowned rats did not detract from the value of the experience.

The town of Frans Josef was, like Queenstown, full of tourists, and there was not a bed in sight available. So after dinner we plodded on trying to find accomodation. After numerous failed attempts we came across a small town Kamara Junction (pop 400) and the local store had two motel rooms built in the yard. It was spotless and the owners were great. The room was cheap and provided everything that we needed for the night. The owner, Lionel, took us for a walk in the dark to an old derelict gold mine containing glow worms that contain phosphorous which glow at night. Kamara was once a town of 12000 people and a huge gold mining industry!!!!! It was a generous act and an unexpected pleasure.

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