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On-Walkabout at: Dawn at Franz Josef

After a day of driving across New Zealand’s Southern Alps and up the dangerous roads of the Wild West Coast in a driving rain storm; my wife and I woke up the next morning to the most brilliant of sunrises from the caravan park we pulled into the night before at Franz Josef Village:


I was quite excited to see that the mountains were not covered in clouds and quickly woke up my sleeping wife to see them too. She seemed a bit annoyed that I woke her up but when she saw the amazing panorama in front of us she was quite speechless.

For the first time we could actually see the mountains of the New Zealand West Coast. The mountains here looked different then the beautiful mountains we saw further inland at Hanmer Springs. Hanmer Springs’ mountains appeared to be more like something you would see in Colorado where the mountains here on the West Coast appeared to me anyway to look more like the Cascade Mountains in Washington State with its craggy glacier clad slopes:



The view from the caravan park really was astounding because the mountains just appeared to rise up out of the nearby ocean to incredible heights with the spectacular peak of Mt. Cook the most dramatic sight of all:


Mt. Cook known as Aoraki in the local Maori dialect, is the tallest mountain in New Zealand with a summit of 3,754 meters (12,316 feet). The mountain even appears to be bigger then its height because of how these rugged mountains rise so dramatically from the ocean.

The coastal strip that Franz Josef village is located at along the edge of this amazing range of mountains is heavily forested though the trees for whatever reason, are not as big as the trees you would find in the American Pacific Northwest of even southeastern Australia:


From the caravan park I could not see the ocean due to the relatively flat and heavily forested nature of the landscape:


The ocean from Franz Josef is only about 15 miles away, but who cares if you can’t see the ocean from here when there are such incredible mountains to look at:


After admiring the morning sunrise over these incredible mountains my wife and I ate a quick breakfast of cereal and milk because that was one thing my stomach could handle due to the food poisoning I was still feeling. After eating we then quickly packed up our campervan and I made one last trip to the restroom due to the chronic diarrhea that was still bothering me. Though I was still sick I was starting to feel a little better and had only gone to the toilet about five times the night before, which was about half the amount from when I first got sick.

After getting done with the toilet, we then headed off to the nearby Franz Josef Glacier in order to take advantage of this great weather that had now ascended upon the Wild West Coast.

Next Posting: The Franz Josef Glacier – Part 1

Prior Posting: The Mountains of Hanmer Springs

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