Tag: Lake

Maori Carvings

Maori Carvings

Taupo, New Zealand – February 2, 2018

Our drive from Napier to Taupo took just under two hours. It was cloudy and rainy, nearly the entire distance.

Taupo is a city at the north end of Lake Taupo. With a population of roughly 24,000, it is about one-third the size of Grand Junction, Colorado. As one may have noticed, Taupo is a Maori word. The full Maori name for the town is Taupo nui a Tia, a reference to the cloak of Tia, the person that discovered the lake.

We stayed at the Acacia Lake View Motel in an apartment at the front of the motel. We had a lovely view of Lake Taupo from the living room. The scene included the hole-in-one challenge. There were several tee boxes with artificial turf from which one could try to get a hole-in-one on a floating platform anchored out in the lake. There were three different holes on the platform, each of various sizes. Discretion was the better part of valor; I did not even try the challenge.

After breakfast the next morning, we drove to the marina.  While we waited for our boat to take us to the Maori Rock Carvings, I walked away from the marina to the lake’s edge.  There, I stumbled across two black swans and numerous ducks.  At that time, the weather was stunning, allowing for a beautiful landscape photograph.

Lake Taupo as seen from near the marina.

When we boarded the boat, we initially sat on the upper level.  Just before we departed the marina, we moved to the main level.  On that level, there were tables with fixed bench seats.  At the rear of the seating area was a small bar from which they served muffins, tea, and coffee.

The other three travelers…

Moored in a slip nearby was the Ernest Kemp. It is another of the vessels that daily transports tourists to see the carvings. It is a unique looking vessel. I had initially thought we should have reserved space on that boat. It reminded me of the T.S.S. Earnslaw we had enjoyed while in Queenstown about two years ago. However, after seeing how small the Ernest Kemp was, I was pleased with our selection of transport.

Another of the boats that take tourists to the Maori Rock Carvings.

As we departed our slip, the weather was variable. At times we enjoyed brilliant sunshine. Then, just moments later, we found ourselves in an intense downpour. We were pleased the boat seating area was enclosed. The Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde weather was with us throughout our trip.

Once underway, one of the attendants shared details and tidbits about the area as we slid along through the water. The surface area of Lake Taupo, 236 square miles, is nearly the same size as the country of Singapore. The average depth of the lake is 110 meters (360 feet). At its deepest point, the lake reaches 186 meters (610 feet).

For those friends in Colorado, it is worth comparing Lake Taupo with Blue Mesa Reservoir, the largest body of water in that state.  The surface area is a mere 14 square miles, about twice the area of Fruita, Colorado.  The maximum depth of Blue Mesa is 104 meters (341 feet).

Shortly after departing the marina, the attendant directed our attention to Mount Tauhara, referring to it as the “pregnant woman mountain.” It was easy to see why when looking at the profile of the mountain. Mount Tauhara is a dormant volcano. Its summit is at 3,569 meters (11,709 feet) above sea level.

Mount Tauhara, the pregnant woman.

A little over an hour into our trip, we stopped in Mine Bay to view the Maori Rock Carvings.  The attendants opened the front hatch on the boat so we could stand on the bow and take photos.  Standing was quite difficult.  Our weather stirred up the lake such that the bow was severely bouncing around.

The carvings were spectacular. The largest of the carvings was about 10 meters (33 feet) tall. Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell and John Randall made it and the other carvings, completed in 1979.  Ngatoroirangi, a Maori navigator who allegedly led Maori tribes to the area some 1,000 years ago, is the basis for engraving. The only thing that could have made the carvings any more spectacular would be if they were carved some 1,000 years ago.
This is the main and largest carving.

On the route back to the marina, I found it stunning just how crystal clear the water appears. I can only wonder what it would be like to dive into the lake.

Walking from the boat back to our vehicle, we saw a family of black swans enjoying a meal.  I do not know if it was a male or female, but the older black swan pulled water plants to the surface so the five cygnets could easily partake of the meal.  They did not seem to be bothered at all by the parade of humans coming by their dinner table.

Family meal.

The following morning, as we departed Taupo, we stopped at Huka Falls. The fall is more of a horizontal fall than a vertical fall; but, none the less, it is impressive to see the clear blue water rushing north. This is the beginning of the Waikato River. Huka is the Maori word for foam.

Huka Falls looking to the north.

From there, it was on to Ohope Beach.

Huka Falls looking to the south, toward Lake Taupo.
The boat we took to look at the Maori Rock Carvings.
Two black swans among the ducks.
Ducks on the very clear water.
Two ducks near the shore.
The cockpit for our boat.
Departing the marina.
Maori Rock Carvings.
Some additional, smaller carvings. The largest is the lizard near the waterline at the far right.
Enjoying the ride.
View of the shore.
Lake Taupo is huge.
View of the shore.
Typical homes near the marina.
Boathouses across from the marina.
The Marina.
Crystal clear water.
Part of the business district.
Street sculpture.
Tiki sculptures.
Where the Hobbits Were

Where the Hobbits Were

Matamata, New Zealand – February 5, 2018

We departed from Ohope Beach at nearly 07:00.  Our destination was the iSite (tourist information) at Matamata to take the 10:00 tour of the Hobbiton movie set.  The weather forecast called for showers.  However; during our drive, it was clear.

The tourist information site at Matamata definitely has a Hobbit feel.

Arriving at the iSite shortly after 09:00, the sales associate asked if we wanted to join the 09:30 tour instead. I jumped at the chance, anxious to beat any impending rain. The iSite had more Hobbit souvenirs than one could imagine. Since there was a gift shop at the movie set, we opted not to buy anything.

We walked outside and boarded the bus. Our driver, Bea, told us we should expect about a 25-minute drive to the Hobbiton movie set. During the ride, she played several video snippets detailing what was at the movie set and the history behind the scenes.

Sir Peter Jackson’s (the film’s director) team found the Alexander family-run farm in 1998 while scouting for locations for the filming of The Lord of the Rings movies. It seemed the perfect site for The Shire, the home of the Hobbits of Middle-earth. It matched J.R.R. Tolkien’s description from the books almost to a tee.

Several Hobbit Holes on the hill. Bilbo Baggins’ Bag End home is below the large tree in the upper left corner.

The set covers some 12 acres and originally contained 39 Hobbit Holes. Filming began in December 1999. When filming finished, crews returned the land to its pre-filming condition, as happens with most movie sets. The crews dismantled or removed the Hobbit Holes used for the movie, with few exceptions. The few exceptions were enough to draw the films’ enthusiasts to the area to “tour” the set. Guided tours of the site commenced in 2002.

In 2009, Sir Peter Jackson and his team returned for additional filming. This time, they constructed the Hobbit Holes of actual wood, slate, bricks, and mortar. The re-done set claimed a total of 44 Hobbit Holes. That is what is seen today when one takes a tour of the movie set.

The bus stopped at The Shire’s Rest.  At that site, additional tourists boarded the bus.  Once full, approximately 41 tourists, the bus crossed Buckland Road and entered the Alexander family sheep farm.

Our tour guide, Charlotte, told us one could determine the occupation of each of the Hobbit Hole occupants by the clues left out front. That is how we deciphered the farmers, bakers, cheesemakers, etc. We had just begun our walking tour when Charlotte pointed out a small cut in the trail. That is where Bilbo Baggins, the main character in The Hobbit, ran; shouting, “I’m going on an adventure!” One of our fellow tourists recreated the scene while Charlotte filmed the “episode” on the tourist’s phone.

Bakers Hobbit Hole.

A walk of 1.17 kilometers (three-quarters of one mile) was ahead of us. We frequently stopped to listen to Charlotte’s stories and to take photographs. Like so many parts of New Zealand, the Hobbiton Movie Set was visually stunning. The colors were amazing, and the overall landscaping was perfect. Throughout the set, there are several active garden plots. After Leslie’s question, we discovered gardeners split the produce amongst the gardeners that work at the site. I am sure that is a nice extra benefit from their employment.

At the artist’s Hobbit Hole, Charlotte allowed each of us to enter while she made our photograph.  It was very kind of her to do that, especially for all 41 tourists.

To quote Bilbo Baggins, “We’re going on an adventure!” Taken as we departed the artist’s Hobbit Hole.

Charlotte shared that there was one tree on the property that was fake. She asked if we could spot the tree. One of the tourists piped up that it was the tree at the top of the hill. That was correct. The tree happened to be directly above Bilbo Baggins home, Bag End. Just before filming, when Sir Peter Jackson arrived on set, he said the leaves were not the correct color. That set a team into action, re-painting each leaf by hand. I do not know what it looked like initially, but it is very nice now.

Just after the artist’s Hobbit Hole, we came to an overlook. From there, we could see most of the set; all the way to the mill and the Green Dragon Inn. It was a beautiful view.

The view across the lake toward the Green Dragon Inn.

Next was the pinnacle of the tour; Bag End. It was surreal to stand in front of Bilbo’s “home.” The exterior featured in the films; however, the interior shots were made at Weta Studios in Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand. In front of the house is a bench on which Bilbo’s pipe is sitting. The sign on the gate to Bag End stated: “no admittance; except on party business.” The party in question, of course, was Bilbo’s 111th birthday party.

A panorama of Bag End. Note Bilbo’s pipe on the bench at the lower right.

We stopped to sit down on the party grounds.  There were a few benches under a shade cover.  We sat there while Charlotte talked about the party grounds, the party tree, and the overall celebration of Bilbo’s eleventy-first (Hobbit-speak) birthday party.

The party-tree behind our tour guide, Charlotte.

Leaving the comfort of the shade and bench behind, we walked to Samwise “Sam” Gangee’s Hobbit Hole. The flowers in front were beautiful. Sam is the close friend of Bilbo, joining him on his big adventure.

Sam’s Hobbit Hole.

From Sam’s Hobbit Hole, it was mostly downhill. We walked past a beer cart left alongside the road, just before the stone, two-arched bridge. The bridge crosses the lake near the mill. That made for some very scenic photo opportunities.

On the other side of the bridge is the Green Dragon Inn. Included in the tour is a cold drink in a ceramic mug. One can choose between three types of beer (unique brews, each with 1.0% alcohol), a non-alcoholic beer, tea, or coffee.

The green dragon…

We relaxed with our drinks for a while.  Then Charlotte gathered the group and moved us to the gift shop.  Other than our refrigerator magnets, we left empty-handed.

Back on the bus, I discovered the tours run daily, except for Christmas day, rain or shine (update – our trip ended up being entirely in the shine!). There are 70, yes, seventy; tours each day! That means around 1,000,000 visitors each year!

The bus dropped us off at the iSite in Matamata, and we walked across the street for lunch at the Dew Drop Inn. I had a Troll sandwich, essentially a ham and cheese panini. It tasted terrific, but what amazed me most was that the sandwich stayed very hot to the last bite.

From the restaurant, it was back to the car to head to our next stop.

I cannot recommend this tour highly enough. For those that are interested, one can plan a visit at Hobbiton Movie Set.

Hobbit hunter number one.
Hobbit hunters two and three.
The mill at the lake.
A portion of the Green Dragon Inn.
Looking across the lake to the set.
A view of the mill at the lake.
A display just outside the door to the store.
The Green Dragon Inn just to the left of the double-arched bridge by the mill.
Walking toward the Green Dragon Inn.
A direction sign. We departed Hobbiton, heading toward the Green Dragon Inn.
An ale wagon…my kind of transport!
Herb gardener’s Hobbit Hole.
Hobbit Holes overlooking the party grounds.
Farmer’s Hobbit Hole.
The home of Bilbo Baggins close friend, Samwise “Sam” Gamgee.
A weaver’s Hobbit Hole.
A Hobbit Hole.
Herb gardener’s Hobbit Hole.
Farmer’s Hobbit Hole
Cheese-maker’s Hobbit Hole.
Small Hobbit Hole.
Bilbo Baggins home is just below the large tree. FYI…this tree is the only fake tree on the entire set.
Bag End.
Gardener’s Hobbit Hole.
Hobbit Holes
Looking up the hill toward Bag End, Bilbo Baggins home.
A wider view of the florist Hobbit Hole.
A Hobbit Hole duplex??
This Hobbit is cooking fish for lunch just below the entry.
Florist’s Hobbit Hole
Several Hobbit Holes on the hill. Bilbo Baggins’ Bag End home is below the large tree in the upper left corner.
Gardener’s Hobbit Hole
Fisherman’s Hobbit Hole
Farmer’s Hobbit Hole
Farmer Hobbit Hole
Toy Maker Hobbit Hole
No Air Show

No Air Show

Castlepoint, New Zealand – February 18, 2017
I was up early because I was excited.  I had a ticket for Wings Over Wairarapa, an annual air show held in Masterton, New Zealand.

By about 06:30, I was in my car, on my way to Macca’s (McDonald’s) for a breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. The weather was unusually dicey. It was cloudy and lightly raining. Regardless; I thought the weather might clear up once I got on the other side of Rimutaka Range. After finishing my brekkie, I got back in the car and headed north on Highway 2.

Crossing the Rimutaka Range, descending to Featherston saw no letup in the clouds or rain.  So much for wishful thinking.  I continued toward Masterton.

Approaching Masterton, I began to see electronic signs providing directions. The signs designated the preferred lane for use by those driving to the airshow. I followed the instructions. Shortly, near what appeared to be the entrance to the Hood Aerodrome, I ended up in a queue of about six cars. Each car stopped, and the occupants talked at length with the lone man directing traffic. When I arrived at the traffic director, he told me the promoter canceled the airshow for that day. That was so disappointing. I did wonder why none of the electronic signs displayed the closure information.

I turned around. As soon as I found a safe spot, I stopped and assessed what to do next. I remembered recently reading an article in the newspaper about the small town of Castlepoint. I realized I was only about an hour away from the town. I dialed in TomTom and headed east. Like so many other drives in New Zealand, the scenery was spectacular. However, clouds and rain dogged me all the way.

On the road to Castlepoint, the views were stunning.

At Castlepoint, I stopped at a parking area overlooking the bay and lighthouse.  The rain was heavy.  Regardless, I snapped a few photographs.  From there, I drove to the trailhead parking area for the Castlepoint Scenic Reserve.  I could see the lighthouse; but, because of the weather, I opted to not walk out to the lighthouse.

The Castlepoint Lighthouse as seen from the sandbar.

I did see several boats on trailers on the sandbar.  They launch the boats by tractors or other similar machinery that allows the boat to back into the water.  The weather was disappointing, but I vowed to return with Leslie to spend a weekend at Castlepoint.

Two of the pieces of equipment used to launch boats at Castlepoint.

My next plan of attack was driving back to Featherston, having a wood-fired pizza at my favorite restaurant, drive back over the Rimutaka Range, and go home.  I set TomTom for home.

Before I departed Castlepoint, I stopped at the Castlepoint Store. I wanted a bottle of water and a snack for the drive. Walking inside, I saw several of the reach-in freezers assembled in the center of the store. The woman that owned the store began to apologize for the inconvenience. She told me the store flooded the night before because of all the rain. That surprised me.

I drove back to Masterton, fully expecting to turn left, heading south on Highway 2.  However, TomTom kept trying to get me to turn toward the north.  I found a place to pull off the road and took a closer look at TomTom.  From Masterton to our home is about 83 kilometers (51 miles).  Under normal conditions, the drive is about 1:20.  That day, TomTom continued to show my trip’s distance was 232 kilometers (144 miles), with an estimated travel time of nearly 3:30.  The plotted route would have taken me to Palmerston North, over to the west side of the North Island, and then south to home.  I tried resetting the device several times.  Regardless of my attempts, the results were the same.

I decided I knew how to get home. After all, I simply had to head south on Highway 2. As I got to the outskirts of Featherston, I could almost taste the pizza. The road curved to the right. When I rounded the curve, I immediately found myself in an endless line of vehicles. As quickly as I could, I made a U-turn and parked. I grabbed my phone, so I could get on the internet to try to find out what was going on. Suddenly, I understood why TomTom wanted me to go the other way. Officials closed Highway 2 because of an accident and diesel spill on Rimutaka Hill.

There was no reasonable way to get to my pizza restaurant. Even if I could have gotten to the restaurant, I am sure it would have been a mob scene. My hunger demanded satisfaction. I remembered hearing about a place to eat at Lake Ferry. It was only about 35 minutes away. I apologized to TomTom for doubting and set my new destination. Until this trip, I had no idea TomTom was “tuned in” to local traffic conditions.

It was no longer raining, but the cloud cover persisted. I arrived at Lake Ferry and parked in front of the only business; the Lake Ferry Hotel. I went into the café and found it was surprisingly full. I ordered the seafood chowder and a beer. It was so hot inside; I opted to sit at a table on the covered terrace. Before coming to New Zealand, I was not a fan of chowder. But here, they are amazing.

I ate my lunch looking out onto Lake Onoke. Feeding the lake is the Ruamahanga River. The river and the lake drain directly into Palliser Bay. Because of this draining and the tidal action, the area is hazardous for swimming. A sign not too far from the hotel warns one of the dangers.

Ominous warning sign. The browner water is Lake Onoke. The bluer water in the distance is Palliser Bay.

After lunch, I drove a little way out onto the beach. From where I parked, I walked to the edge of the beach, which was a small cliff of about eight or ten feet. I was there as the tide was going out. The water was angry. It was easy to see why there are so many warnings about swimming in the area.

When I got back in the car, I checked TomTom.  I could see the route home was now direct.  That meant the road over the Rimutaka Range had opened again.

When I got home that afternoon, I was tired. Without really trying, I had driven about 385 kilometers (239 miles). No wonder I was exhausted.

A different view of the machinery used to launch boats at Castlepoint.
Yet another view of the tugs at Castlepoint.
Looking across the bay to the Castlepoint Lighthouse.
A cut alongside the beach road at Lake Ferry reveals layers of sediment.
The beach road back to Lake Ferry.
Lake Onoke shore near Lake Ferry, New Zealand.
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier, New Zealand – February 20, 2016

Our bed and breakfast hosts made a delicious breakfast for us on the final morning of our visit to Queenstown. After breakfast, we settled our bill, piled into the SUV, and hit the road again.
I planned to travel just over four hours on Highway 6 to Fox Glacier. Unfortunately, about 10 miles out of Queenstown, TomTom raised her head. Instead of continuing on Highway 6, she directed me to turn onto the Crown Range Road toward Cardrona and Albert Town. As I noted in several other posts about our South Island trip, I decided not to argue.Just after leaving Highway 6, the paved road began a steep climb over the mountains. Many switchback turns helped us make it to the summit. The route took us through one of New Zealand’s old gold mining districts. Traveling through Cardrona reminded us somewhat of the old gold mining towns in Colorado.
On the other side of Cardrona, I saw several cars parked on either side of the road. I could not quite tell what was going on. At the instant I reached the cars, I realized why the cars were there. They were admiring and photographing the Bra Fence. Yes, you read that correctly, Bra Fence. An avid photographer and a male, I wanted to stop. My three female passengers vehemently overruled that desire. So, it was on to Albert Town.
Just before Albert Town, we entered a beautiful area of New Zealand, the Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea area. The area looked amazingly like that around Blue Mesa Reservoir in Colorado. However, the lakes are enormous in comparison to Blue Mesa. Lake Hawea, the smaller of the two New Zealand lakes, is about three and one-half times as large as Blue Mesa. Lake Wanaka is an impressive five times larger. At the closest point, the two lakes are only about one kilometer apart (just over a half-mile).

Panoramic view of Lake Wanaka.

Even though the lake area was beautiful, the next area we traversed, Mount Aspiring National Park, was spectacular. The National Park is a west coast rain forest. It is impossible to describe the unending shades of green throughout the forest. The moisture from a light mist seemed to enhance the colors. As our altitude increased and decreased, the amount of fog increased and decreased as well.

One of the many waterfalls in Mount Aspiring National Park.

Highway 6 followed alongside the Haast River through the majority of the National Park. The lower in elevation we went, the wider the Haast River valley became. The river joins the Tasman Sea near the village of Haast. We stopped there to have lunch. I decided to have a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. In New Zealand, they call those a ham and cheese toastie.
After lunch, we were back on the highway. We still had another 60-plus miles to attain our final destination of Fox Glacier. Because of the twisting, turning, roads in New Zealand, our planned four-hour journey became a six-hour sojourn. We finally made it to our hotel around 15:30.Fox Glacier is a small village. We found out at dinner just how little. The population is about 200 people. Virtually all of those are involved in the tourist industry. One of the largest cogs in the tourist machine is the heli-tours. While we were there, dozens of people were always waiting for a helicopter to take them to the top of Fox Glacier. We opted to drive and walk.
The next morning, after breakfast, we set out for Fox Glacier. The glacier’s namesake is Sir William Fox, a past Prime Minister of New Zealand. Backtracking on Highway 6 just one mile, we turned left on Glacier View Road. In about two miles, we arrived at the parking area at the end of the road. There was a well-manicured path leading into the rainforest. It was about a ten-minute walk to the viewing area. Walking through the rain forest, we were all amazed at the various floras. Of particular interest to me were the ferns. As new shoots of the fern grow, they sort of unroll and spread their fronds. The Maoris believed the unrolled fern was a sign of life, new beginnings, or rebirth. That sign figures prominently in Maori art, referred to as koru. One of my photographic goals, while I am here, is to get the perfect shot of a live koru.
At the end of the trail, the “viewing area” was simply a small opening in the trees. Regardless, one could look easterly, up to the Fox River valley. In between clouds, since it was somewhat foggy, we could see the blue face of the glacier. We also saw a parking area across the river. There were dozens of vehicles and motor homes. We decided we would go there and see if we could get a better view of the glacier.

On the trail to the Fox Glacier overlook.
The trail through the rain forest.
The trees absolutely dwarfed our vehicle.

Driving the Fox Glacier Access Road, we saw a sign that noted the glacier had been there in the 1700s. At first, we did not understand what that meant. Then it dawned on us that the face of the glacier had been at that point in the valley. That was probably one mile from the parking area and about two miles from the current face of the ice.
From the parking area, a string of people hiked toward the glacier and back again. Leslie, Hillary, and I wanted to walk a little way to try to get a better view of the glacier. Lorraine opted to sit on a rock near the parking lot and wait for us. We continued for a couple of hundred meters or so. We were able to get a magnificent view of the glacier. We also saw a gruesome sign warning people to not stray off marked trails for fear of being crushed by ice falling from the glacier.

It can be quite dangerous to stray from the marked trail. Several people have been killed over the years by falling ice.
For perspective, look at the hikers on the trail at the lower center of the frame.

A few photographs later, we hiked back to Lorraine. When we got back to her, she asked if we had felt the earthquake. The three of us looked at each other and replied we had not. Lorraine had felt it while she sat on the rock. We must have been walking at the time. I checked later and found the earthquake was a 3.8, very slight. That is just one more reason we did not feel the quake.
We decided we wanted to go to the beach that day. We left Fox Glacier and stopped in town to get the makings for sandwiches. We took the groceries and headed to Gillespies Beach. It was only about a 14-mile drive, but most of that was on an unpaved road. Just as Gillespies Beach Road left the river valley, there was a rather ominous warning sign. I did not think the way was as bad as what the sign seemed to indicate.
At the end of Gillespies Beach Road, there was a small parking area. We opened the back of the SUV and had our picnic lunch. Then we walked down to the beach. The beach was not sandy. Instead, there were pebbles and small stones making up the beach. However, turning around and looking to the east, we saw the Southern Alps, including Mount Cook. With an altitude of 12,217 feet, Mount Cook is the highest point in New Zealand. It seemed bizarre to be on the beach and yet see these extremely tall and snowy mountains.

One of my favorite New Zealand photographs. Mount Cook is the peak on the left. Mount Sefton is in the center. Mount Sealy is on the right.
The view toward Australia across the Tasman Sea.
John Quinlan’s tombstone.

Gold was discovered near the beach in 1865 by a miner named Gillespie. As with gold strikes in other parts of the world, men descended to the location in droves. Some miners invariably died there. The burial place is the nearby Miners Cemetery. We walked the five-minute trek to look. Many of those interred there were from either Ireland or Scotland.

Done exploring, we drove back to the hotel to prepare for the next day’s departure.

View from Knights Point Lookout.
View from Knights Point Lookout.
A rather ominous sign as one enters the forest on the way to Gillespies Beach.
The path for the two-minute walk to the Miners Cemetery at Gillespies Beach.
Two finials on one of the iron fences at the Miners Cemetery.
Detail of an iron fence around one of the graves at the Miners Cemetery.
John Quinlan’s final resting place at the Gillespies Beach Miners Cemetery.
The Southern Alps as seen from Gillespies Beach.
Driftwood and grass on Gillespies Beach.
Rocks on Gillespies Beach.
A piece of Fox Glacier sitting in the Fox River.
The small dot in the sky near the center is a helicopter. At times they were as thick as the mosquitoes.
Some of the rock gouged out by the glacier.
Preparing to walk higher toward the glacier.
The lower portions of Fox Glacier.
Looking down the Fox River Gorge toward the Tasman Sea.
A danger sign along the trail.
The Fox River.
Water cascading near the Fox Glacier parking area.
Fox River bridge.
Flowers along the highway.
One of the many one-lane bridges.
The road through the rain forest.
Multiple koru.
A koru.
A silver fern.
Everything was so green.
A fern.
One of the stunning cliffs in the Fox River Gorge.