I headed south down the coastal road from Greymouth and stopped off at Hokitika, where New Zealand’s greenstone jade or pounamu is found. Many of the tourist shops sell jewellery and carvings, however the buyer has to be aware that much of the stone is brought in from China and British Columbia. The price of the items reflects this to a certain degree. I was interested to explore the town and see the craftsmen at work.
Further south I went to the Glaciers. Firstly Franz Josef, a 12km long glacier. I walked along the valley floor to the base of the glacier.
I did try and book a helicopter flight up onto the glacier, but the mist came down and blanketed the mountain so all flights were cancelled. I drove about 20kms further to the Fox Glacier and again walked to the glacier base. The walk was much more interesting. There were huge scree slopes and fallen rocks.