NZ 2020: Day 5, Point Elizabeth, Hokitika, Lake Mahinapua

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

After our relatively dry day yesterday in Punakaiki, we encountered more of the rain of the rainy West Coast on our way south to Franz Josef.Image 4-14-20 at 5.55 PM

Point Elizabeth Track in the rain – palms and seals

We started the day with a hike through rainforest to a coastal viewpoint at Point Elizabeth.  Highlights were lots of blooming nikau palm trees, and then our first sighting of fur seals for the trip.

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View north toward Rapahoe

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Landward mountains

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View south toward Point Elizabeth

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Into the rainforest

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Tree fuchsias

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Nikau palm trees

Views from Point Elizabeth:

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Looking down at the fur seals near the cliffs.

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Still misty as we hike out.

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Hokitika

We stopped to eat lunch and browse the shops offering Maori greenstone carvings.

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Views from the Hokitika River Quay.

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I discovered a yarn shop with a sock knitting machine museum, here near southernmost part of the settled world!

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Sock knitting machines

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And a Carnegie Library, here on the far side of the world.

Lake Mahinapua

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Another hiking stop – we took the Jum Michel Walk, in the rain, and saw some interesting plants. Once again our guide dropped us at the trailhead, and met us on the other side.

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Into the rain forest

Then we wandered over to Lake Mahinapua to look at what could have been a view to the peaks of the Southern Alps.

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Lake Mahinapua

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Total hike stats for the day: 6 miles, 300 feet.

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Tree Ferns and mountain views, Franz Josef

Our final stop was our lodging in Franz Josef. Tomorrow, if the weather cooperated, we planned to see the Franz Josef glacier.