We started off from Wanaka in the morning, and drove west, into Mount Aspiring National park, on our way to Franz Josef. On the way, we first stopped at the blue pools of Haast Pass. There was a short 30 min walk through the forest, that opened up to a blue and green river, with a rocky beach.
After spending some time skipping rocks along the water, we continued onto the town of Haast. This was the only main town along the route, and a good stop for lunch. After eating, we continued our drive along the west coast of South Island. Soon, we could see the Tasman sea, and stopped at an overlook to take in the views.
Passing through some interesting scenery, we eventually came to Lake Matheson, about an hour from Franz Josef. This was a peaceful lake, and on clear days, you can see the reflection of Mount Cook on the lake. Unfortunately, we were all very tired from the drive, and did not walk the long trail to see the reflections. We spent a little time walking around, spotted some streams, and continued onto to our hotel in Franz Josef.
|Streams near Lake Matheson|
We stayed at the Chateau Franz Hostel, which was economical and clean, with free breakfast. We planned to spend the next stay visiting the highlight of this town…the glaciers!