Rejoined the others at Lake Brunner for a couple of nights, staying on the lawn at a very nice lodge ($350 a night). Down a gravel road for 5 kms, so fairly isolated. Walked to another waterfall through the beech forests - they are so beautiful.
Spent three nights at Lake Mahinapua, just south of Hokitika. A spacious DOC camp, with many curious weka. They come right up to where you are sitting, but skitter off as soon as you move. Hilarious watching them chase after each other. They can move pretty fast. Have to be careful what you leave lying around. They like jandals and Roland's rubbish bag got a large hole in it.
Finally visited the gorge in Hokitika. Have read about it several times, but never got there. The water is a beautiful turquoise colour. Went to the movies on Wednesday as the forecast wasn't very good. Final showing of Mary, Queen of Scots. We were in a theatre that seats 15, all in armchairs and sofas. There were 10 of us there. Pretty good for Hokitika, we thought.
Biked a section of the Wilderness trail near where we were, around the lake and through the bush.
Now in Franz Josef. Rained most of yesterday and torrential rain overnight, all night.Thunder and lightning, too, to keep us on our toes. Nice today, though, and drying things out. Just got back from a bike to the glacier - can't believe how much it has retreated.