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Country Roads

Fox Glacier, New Zealand

Early in the morning I left Queenstown, the adrenaline capital of the world, traveling northwest by InterCity bus. The bus went around the Southern Alps, passing through the cities of Wanaka and Haast, and then following the west coast along the Tasman Sea. We passed through locations so remote that they have to generate their own hydroelectric power, and in some areas have no electricity at all. For most of the trip I had no cell phone reception. We crossed roughly twenty narrow, single lane bridges. I had expected a simple bus ride, but the two drivers during the trip acted as tour guides, providing commentary on the road and making stops for photo opportunities. It was a very scenic trip with mountains, lakes, beaches, rivers, and many varieties of trees. For lunch we stopped at a café next to a salmon farm and I ate salmon chowder. And finally, in the late afternoon, we arrived at my final destination for the day, Fox Glacier, a town of roughly 200 people.

Upon my arrival to Fox Glacier, my Airbnb host drove me to get a view of the glacier and the two highest peaks in New Zealand, Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. He then drove me to Lake Matheson and I spent the next one and a half hours walking through a forest path around the lake, surrounded by rocks and trees covered in moss and lichens. The only sounds were those of the birds, the mysterious small animals hiding in the bushes, and the crunching under my feet. In the fading light I watched the mountains in the distance and their exact reflection in the waters of the lake below. It is perhaps the most beautiful scene I have encountered during this entire trip. A forested trail, jagged peaks in the distance streaked with shades of red, and a mirror in the water. A painting made real. Tomorrow I leave this place to continue my scenic trip across New Zealand’s south island. I’m excited to discover what new things await me.


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