Fox Glacier to Blenheim via Westport

After seeing the icy Fox Glacier, we headed up to Franz Joseph.  By now the hunger pains were setting in so time for a lunch stop.  The idea being lunch then back to the Franz Joesph Glacier.   We had missed the turnoff to Lake Matheson where we had planned lunch at the cafe.   Instead, we stopped as soon as we arrived in Franz, having a look at a lovely place called Blue Ice.  Not only was the service personal and friendly, prices were very good and the food itself was superb!  Top is the Seafood Chowder which I enjoyed immensely, below a burger meal.  Highly recommend taking the time to stop at this restaurant and bar.  If you’re coming from Hokitika, you will find this restaurant on the Southside of town, after driving through the main Franz Joesph township.

This little lookout at Franz Joesph was a short sharp hill walk from the carpark.   Franz is further back than Fox Glacier, so you have to do a lot of walking here to see the Glacier itself.  As we did not have the time today, a short walk to this lookout was all we could fit in.  A nice way to wear off the calories from that superb Blue Ice lunch.

Back on the road, we made a couple of brief stops for fuel etc as we headed towards our next destination.  Below are a couple of shots along the way.  Firstly one of the many lakes we had seen today, secondly, the iconic road road bridge near Hokitika.   A new bridge is being built next to it, so in a couple of year s traffiic probably won’t use this singe lane bridge.


Hokitika was a fuel stop for us and Greymouth we drove through.   Our main aim this afternoon was to stop at the Pancake Roacks at Punakiki.  This meant heading to Westport when we left Greymouth instead of towards Blenheim.


Punakiki is short distance from Westport and well worth stopping for.  A circuit walkway has been set up throughout the area so you can view the rocks and blowholes from many angles.   Today the rough West Coast sea was fairly calm which meant we didn’t see the water rising up high through the blowholes.  However, the incredible power of nature was very evident here.  We even found the island where seagulls live!

The West Coast of New Zealand is a incredible experience.  Rugged, natural, remote, rough yet beautiful.We took the trip from Queenstown to Westport in a day.   To see everything properly, we should have taken at least two, if not three days, however we did not have the time on this occasion.

Our stop off in Westport for the night was brief, but comfortable in a roomy motel unit at Westport Motels on the Esplanade.  Very easy to find as it was the first road on the left over the bridge.  After a quick unpack, we took a brief drive through Westport before eventually settling on the The Quarry restaurant and bar for dinner.  Lovely big meals. in a nice relaxed setting. If you are in Westport check this place out. The great down to earth West Coast service made for a nice relaxed evening.

After a well deserved sleep, we set off early in the morning heading for Blenheim.  Passing through the Buller Gorge, we saw some interesting sights, below are a few photos to show what we saw.

On a cloudy day, the Buller Gorge was today very moody.The iconic Hawks Crag is an interesting piece of one way road.    


We stopped in Murchison for a. very hearty warming breakfast.  Now thats quite an omlette, full to the brim with goodness. Well worth stopping at Beechwoods Cafe  Murchison.

The landscape started to change again as we headed towards our last roadside stop before Blenheim.Last stop, Lake Rotoiti.  We could not have visited on a better day, with the lake mirroring the towering mountains in the background.  Beautiful clear waters enhanced by the clear rays of sunlight.


Enjoy the atmosphere of these photos, I hope they have given you an insight into the spectacular ever changing scenery of New Zeal Zea  South. Is Is.  Next week, I will complete the blog of Marlborough area before we leave NZ until the next visit.   Take the time, visit here, its well worth it.

Frankton Arms Tavern New Zealand

Stunning scenery is par for the course in Queenstown.  However you cannot deny the breathtaking scenery whilst visiting Frankton Arms Tavern.

A big complex located in Frankton, which is next to Queenstown on Lake Wakitipu.  Staff here were very friendly helpful and looked to enjoy their working environment.


Outside there are some very impressive wooden tables, and again, that view!

We loved the meals here, with all of us agreeing the presentation of the bangers and mash was outstanding.  Take a look at this:


This simple meal was turned into a work of art.  Very impressive.


Meal sizes are extra large.  Take a look at this pizza!   

Highly recommend a visit to this great value venue.  It’s worth a trip to Queenstown to enjoy the meals whilst you soak in this beautiful area.   Enjoy😋

Buster Crabb, Invercargill, New Zealand

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Right now you’re feeling like you’ve just stepped back in time, or into the scene of an old movie. Snappy suits, hats or spats on the shoes would not be out of place here. With a couple of separate dining rooms, shrouded in heavy curtains, you have the opportunity to request a private dining room for a group booking.

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There is little, if anything to fault about the decor and setup of this restaurant. Signed photos and other interesting paraphernalia adorn the walls and areas within the restaurant. Plenty of parking in the area behind the restaurant, with an extensive menu and drinks list, this is a place to cater to most tastes.

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Menus are presented in an aged newspaper format adding to the early 1900’s atmosphere. Meals presented were large. Luckily, on this occasion I had opted for an entree meal with a side of beans as my main. Pork & Duck Terrine. This in itself was more than ample on this occasion. The terrine paired beautifully with the sliced apple and cranberry sauce on the side.

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Seafood chowder, I’m told was fabulously creamy and full of seafood including mussels, smoked fish, salmon and prawns. Hubby has been on a quest to find the best seafood chowder and this one did not disappoint.

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Whilst you’re visiting Invercargill, take the time to visit this interesting restaurant. Once you have finished checking out the decor, sit back, order from the menu and resist the urge to tilt a bowler hat to the side or light up a cigar. Enjoy!

Moeraki Boulders Cafe, North Otago, New Zealand

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Drive down the East Coast of the South Island, in New Zealand, and you will pass the Moeraki Boulders. Rather than pass them by after you’ve cruised through Hampden, follow the signs to stop off and absorb the natural beauty of these uniquely formed round boulders.

There’s a cafe,gift shop, plus a walkway down to view these world famous boulders. Meander down the wooden walkway for a short distance, and you will find yourself at the beach, which is scattered with boulders.. Some are huge, others mere dots by comparison. You may feel like you’ve landed in the middle of a Jurassic Park video, surrounded by dinosaur eggs.

This is an ideal place to break the road trip, with excellent facilities available. Staff were friendly, prices inside the cafe seemed reasonable and the food was delicious. If you’re looking for a drink, snack or a meal, then you’ve come to the right place. Outside is a generous balcony, for those who seeking a sea breeze. Inside, is a large seating area, with normal facilities and large windows overlooking the beach. We chose the inside as we weren’t prepared to brave the sea breeze on this chilly December day. I mean the below photo gives an indication of the temperature ….

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Order and pay at the counter, with table service then delivering the meals and drinks. I suggest the seafood. It does not come much fresher than this. The seafood platter was not only deliciously fresh, it was packed with a variety of seafood, perched atop fries and a salad. Well presented, and very reasonably priced at $39 NZD.

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Take the time to relax and chill over some divine food, while you take a break from your road trip. You definitely won’t regret it.