Wharariki & Fox Glacier

On our 4th day of the trip we made a pit stop at Wharariki Beach & we were absolutely blown away by it!

Wharariki
Wharariki Beach

Wharariki is located in Puponga and only accessible via a twenty minute walking track.  The track there is absolutely beautiful and has picturesque green rolling hills along the way. There are also plenty of sheep to pass by on your walk. The beach is best known for its picturesque archway island that appears on a lot of NZ calendars. 

Arches of Wharariki

On this beach is where I saw my first wild seal! They are such playful and funny animals. They were coming up to us on the beach and prancing around their beautiful ocean playground.   

Seal at Wharariki

We explored the beach for a good while and walked to some cool caves off to the left of the beach and relaxed a bit. The ocean here is quite cold and rough so we didn't really go in but enjoyed it from the outskirts. 

Fox Glacier

After hanging out at the beach for a couple of hours we decided to continue our drive to the Fox Glacier. We had already seen Franz Josef Glacier but were heading back to view the other glacial beauty. This glacier is an 8.1 mile maritime glacier that is significantly reducing in size every year. It is located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park, which is on the west coast of the south island of New Zealand. 

Fox Glacier

We completed the Fox Glacier/ Te Ara o Tuawe Valley walk which was about an hour return. This was a quick short walk that allowed us to get some really amazing views of the glacier. A really popular nearby hike to do is Lake Matheson. I suggest you do it for an amazing mirror lake that reflects Aoraki/Mount Cook & Mount Tasman.

After exploring the glacier we made our way down to Wanaka, my favorite city thus far in New Zealand. Here's some pictures from the drive into Wanaka...

New Zealand - Drive to Wanaka
Fox Glacier