Our accommodation at the Bella Vista Motel turned out to be OK. It's a motel, not as nice as the hotels and B&Bs we've got used to but definitely better than Motel 6! The lady at the reception desk was incredibly helpful, in suggesting what to do while we were there.
Spent the morning just wandering around the town. It's pretty small, maybe about the size of Aptos, and I don't think it would exist if it wasn't for the tourist business created by the presence of the glacier (actually several of them).
By far the highlight of the day though was a helicopter flight we took around the Franz and Fox glaciers and Mt Cook, the highest peak in Australasia - all in kilometers of course but as far as I could tell around 14,000 feet. The flight also included a landing in a snow field on Mt Cook - pretty amazing. It was our first time in a helicopter so we weren't quite sure what to expect but it felt very conmfortable and safe after getting over the initial stange feeling of lifting off vertically insetad of careering down a runway. Lots of great photos were taken.
Side Note. It's proving hard to find internet connections fast enough to upload photos so I'm going back and posting them when possible. I'll make a note on the new posts each time that happens.
After the helicopter ride, we took a short drive to a lake just outsie Frank Josef and took about a 45 minute hike along a nature trail. A lot of it was across marshy gorounf instead of the bush walks we have done previously. Very interesting.
Had a great dinner in the evening at "The Landing". One of the major brewers in NZ is Speight and their beers are pretty good. They serve their beers here not at room temperature but not as cold as in the USA either. Had a great Italian waiter, working his way round New Zealand. I think the whole restaurant business here is based on kids travelling round the world!
That's all for today. Tomorrow we head off to Queenstown, our last port of call in New Zealand. Can't believe we're almost at the end of our trip.