Sometimes I feel I just need to pinch myself – is this really where I’m lucky enough to live! No need to jump on a plane to other parts of the world or even travel to other parts of our own country – so much beauty and diversity right here in our region of NZ – West Coast of the Southern Alps.
We’re doing one of the hikes in Franz Josef – the namesake town for the glacier Franz Josef Glacier. The hike well the hike is a no-brainer, the name says it all – Roberts Point track (Jan and Stephen Roberts…..) – a walk in our honour (sounds good!) just has to be done doesn’t it!
After being closed for a few years due to major rock fall and slips it was finally reopened earlier in the year and put onto our “to do” list. With a meeting in Franz Josef we headed down a day earlier to give us time to do this hike. Note I’m saying hike here not walk. The recommended time is 5.5 hours return and experienced “trampers” only. This wasn’t going to be your run of the mill walk in the bush.
Awakening to a frosty morning but with black cloud looming and the forecast for possible rain we were dressed for everything – wrapped up warm and for the possible eventuality of rain.
Our adventure started sedately with a walk through the bush to Pete’s Pool – a small kettle lake often giving lovely reflections of Franz Josef Glacier. Not today though with spits of rain creating just enough ripple and lots of low misty cloud. Still beautiful though – very atmospheric and always a worthwhile stop.
Onwards as we had a big day ahead of us and down to our first swing-bridge that would lead us to the official start of Roberts Point track.
The bridge takes us over the Waiho River and affords lovely views up the valley floor towards the glacier.
The first section of the trail is through some stunning West Coast native forest (of course it is I hear you say…..) – more of those green greens we love so much when out walking in our bush.
With occasional rocky creek beds to negotiate and huts appearing out of nowhere it is a stunning walk of contrasts.
Then my wording changes but only for a minute and then it pretty much doesn’t change for the rest of our hike – insane, insane, insane – honestly the beauty and trail now just gets insane.
“insane” with the 111 metre swing-bridge going across the valley (yes you read that right)………
and if that wasn’t enough – how about “insane”, “insane” with the wooden steps hugging the rock face……..
“crazy insane” rocky mountain views……….
only to be topped with “super insane” surrounding snow-capped mountains………
ending with “breath-takingly insane” views of the Franz Josef glacier. As you can see we soon ditched the cool weather and rain gear as we had a stunning day up the valley and at the glacier.
This was a real walk in the wilderness and it seems with every new adventure we find a new favourite walk – our latest Roberts Point Track – insane and loved it! Ouch – just pinched myself and nope I really do live here 🙂
Jan and Stephen (Roberts!) run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth. They love the region they live in – West Coast of the Southern Alps and like nothing better than getting out and exploring it’s vast beauty.