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Thursday, 13 October 2005
We decided to explore Queenstown a little more before leaving for Fox Glacier. Since all the places were closed we wandered over to the lake for a little walk through the gardens. Lots of big Sequoia trees and some amazingly clear water.


We checked out of the lodge and I went to get the car from where we had parked it. When I got there it wouldn't start...dead battery. First I checked to see if I had left anything on, but that wasn't it. So I hiked back to the hotel to call the rental company.

They said it would be a couple of hours before they could get to us and recommended calling AA, the New Zealand Automobile Association. They sent someone right away who determined that it was a faulty battery. He could jump it, but it would do the same thing again until the battery was replaced.

We got the car started and drove to the rental place, where we left it with them to fix. They didn't have another car available, so we spent some more time walking around Queenstown. Around this time, Jen developed a craving for pizza, but nothing was open for lunch at 11am. About half an hour later the car was ready, but we had just found an Italian restaurant called Avanti, where we sat for lunch. Jen got her pizza and we were finally ready to start our drive to Fox Glacier.
We stopped at several places on the way, as we saw things that looked interesting. We found Thunder Creek Falls first. Thunder Creek ends at this 28m (~92 ft) drop into the Haast River. What caught our eye was the intense color of the water. I climbed down the bank to the river before Jen found the formed path. Thunder Creek Falls
Our next scenic stop was at Knight's Point, which provided a pretty remarkable view of the southwest coast of New Zealand and the Tasman Sea. Go far enough west over the Tasman and you'll find Australia. Turn your back to the sea and you see the interesting terrain (picture on far right below).

Knight's Point

Then on to Fox Glacier without much worth photographing except for the odd rainbow and random roadside sheep. Oh, and of course the cows... always the cows.

Once we got into Fox Glacier (the town, not the glacier itself) we went straight to the Sunset Motel to check in. The place was AMAZING. Huge windows front and rear with a view of the sunset (and ocean) on one side and potential for an incredible sunrise view in the morning. Then someone found the small heater on the wall and decided to stand under it for a spell. Can you guess who that someone was? (look to the right)
Sunset Motel Heat!

After checking in and dropping our bags off (and dragging Jen away from the heater) we realized we still had enough
time to get a sneak peak at the glacier before our glacier hike in the morning. The environment was almost tropical near the glacier. See that large object I'm standing next to? Now look at the next photo and you'll see what it is. Quite a big root cluster, eh? I've seen them before, but it's still a pretty cool sight to see.

We walked through the valley formed by the glacier over the centuries. There were a few waterfalls and some nice scenery. We didn't walk all the way to the terminal face of the glacier since we'd be doing that in the morning, but we got pretty close.

Fox Glacier

On the way back to the car from the glacier we were followed by an old friend, only this time he'd brought backup. This Kea seemed to enjoy following us, although it felt more like stalking than anything. I stopped long enough to snap the photos you see here, but fear not good friends, we got to the car and back to the motel safely.

We had dinner at a nice little western pub in town. That's right, a pub styled after the good old American west. The food was actually pretty good, and we had some fun. After dinner, we headed back to the motel to call it a night.

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