On down the west coast of the South Island on Highway 6.  This would be one of the longer days in the car, but we always make a lot of stops.  One of them was for a sign that said, "New Zealand's Longest Swing Bridge."  We crossed a swing bridge on the Abel Tasman hike, and Jennifer, who is even more afraid of heights than I am, was just barely able to make it.  Still, since Jennifer never wants to miss out on anything, I was sure she would go with me across "New Zealand's Longest Swing Bridge."

I was wrong.

Swing bridge.jpg (92626 bytes) 

Too bad for her.

SwingBridgeFalls.jpg (95093 bytes) SwingBridgeRiver.jpg (89005 bytes)

A little later on that day we hit the one straight stretch of road in the entire country, along the coast near a town called Hokitika. Throughout most of the country, we were winding around hairpin curves with sheer cliffs inches from our tires while a long line of locals tried to pressure us to go faster.  We called this 'making a parade.'  (Remember we're still getting used to driving on the left.)  Today, for the first time, we were comfortably able to drive the speed limit.  Jennifer immediately became so comfortable that she got a speeding ticket for doing 120 in a 100 (km/hr).  I gave her such grief.  I feel bad about it now.  No, wait, I'm over it.

In part of a day we went from pristine mountain rivers, to flat, wide open sea shore, and then back to mountains.  In the afternoon we did a short hike to Fox Glacier.

FoxGlacierTim.jpg (82335 bytes) You can hike to within 50 m of the terminus.  I grabbed Phil another rock.

Before we ended the day in Haast, we changed scenery several more times.