A Canadian in New Zealand-Day 28 - Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Haast Pass, Roaring Billy Falls, Thunder Creek Falls, and Fantail Falls

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April 27th 2016
Published: April 27th 2016
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Prior to leaving the West coast to traverse the Haast Pass to points east, I had two last things to do. First was to view Lake Matheson. This was an hour and a half walk around the lake where you were supposed to see majestic reflections of the mountains of the area, including Mount Cook, reflected in the still waters of Lake Matheson. Alas, it was overcast, little sun, and the mountains were in cloud cover. The reflections basically were non-existent. Quite disappointing. Since I had come all this way I had to see at least one glacier. So off I went to hike to Fox Glacier's viewpoint, a return hike of about an hour. I viewed the glacier from afar but as close as you could get unless you took a guided tour. It is one of the few glaciers in a temporate rain forest extending approximately 13 km. There are basically three road passes through the Southern Alps linking the west to the east coast with Haast Pass at 563 M above sea level being the lowest. This is a 140 km scenic road winding around steep mountains and lush rainforest. On my journey through the pass I stopped at three waterfalls - Roaring Billy, Thunder Creek and Fantail Falls. Luckily, all three were easily accessable by a short hike. I eventually made it to Wanaka, on my way toward Milford Sound. En route, I only had to pass though maybe 25 one-lane bridges. The New Zealander's must be on to something. Why have two lanes on a bridge when apparently one does just fine!

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