A partially cloudy morning again scuppered any attempt to sky dive, so we left Wanaka with grey skies ahead. Although the driving time was a little over 4 hours to go north to Haast Pass, then to go up the west coast to Franz Joseph, we managed to make it last the whole day!
During the morning, we stopped for coffees and carrot cake and then to view Fantail and Thunder Creek falls, with a decent amount of water following yesterday and last night's rain.
Lunch was a delight. There was just one other couple on Haast beach, surrounded by a flock of seagulls, but it wasn't difficult to find a space to eat salami rolls accompanied by the crashing of Tasman sea waves. Despite the greyness, it was still quite bright and warm. The sandflies were just about kept at bay by the breeze.
Wanaka was nice as there was a complete lack of the beasties, but they're back now we're further west.
The other delight of the day was a short walk to Monro Beach, through the rain forest. Tree ferns up to 20 feet high were everywhere and there was the usual verdant green of lichens, ferns and leaves. Insects hummed and the path followed a small brown stream down to the beach.
Sadly, there were no fiordland crested penguins to be seen, but it was a fine beach, rocky at either end, with the high tide waves crashing in over the pebbles. We sat for a while, until the sandflies found us (again!) then returned to continue the journey.
Although its not raining just now, the cloud is still well down, but the forecast for tomorrow is for fine weather.
And so to Alex Knob...