Well after a heavy night in Queenstown I collected my NZone photography pack, jumped in the car and headed north on Highway 6 to Franz Josef!
What I wasn’t expecting was how hard the drive was gonna be! I’ve driven a lot miles but it was truly exceptional drive. Trying to keep an eye on the road whilst trying to see the most dramatic, ever changing landscape was just unbelievable. I think I recorded 5 times where I nealy crashed the car! After that i just gave up counting! Corner after corner was a OMG, Jesus, fuckin ‘ell moments! It really was surreal! The roads are amazing to drive, countless rock falls, water all over the road from cliff faces to the left of you or barriers stopping you from going over the edge whilst I was looking at the scenery… One moment your driving towards snow topped mountains on cliff faces then the next your driving through thick tropical under growth with bush so thick it’s like a vegetation wall. Your having to go down to second gear up steep fast 45 degree blind corners following trucks that are barley moving. Next your racing down fast straight lanes in 6th gear at 100kph towards the sun kiss beaches of the west coast. The whole trip had taken me nearly 8 hours and the best part of that was in the rain! To be fare it should have taken 5-6 hours but I had to keep stopping just to take in the views.
There were times when I would drive for a good 20 mins and cover between 15 – 30 km and not see a single soul! I have been to a number of beaches and I have been the only person as far as my eyes could see and these beaches stretch for miles. Then you would come across someone who was either a kiwi or a traveller and the same conversation would always be where you co,e from to where are you going, what an amazing drive and safe travels. Everyone was really cheerful and pleasant.
If anyone plans to visit New Zealand and not travel the west coast road is a lunatic in my eyes. All I would say is make sure you travel safe and try keep an eye on the road because it is easy to be distracted. But my photos will follow and I have attached a few that I have taken on the iPhone! Yes I’m pulling the same face but on some occasions I couldn’t even see the screen!!