02.11.2012 - 02.11.2012 12 °C
This morning was not raining when we woke but still very cloudy and still no visibilty of the mountain from our "mountain view" room. We decided to make the most of the break in the weather and wander around the town before breakfast. It starting raining again shortly after we got back to our room so we left Franz Josef never having seen the mountains behind the town. We detoured off the main road not far out of Franz Josef to explore Okarito Lagoon, once a thriving gold town and the natural habitat of the Kotuku. We spent a bit of time exploring the history of the area. Sadly no photo opportunities because the misty rain meant no light and no visibility. Back to the main road, our next stop was Ross, another once thriving gold town. We visited the museum and wandered about some of the old relics. Still raining. It didnt clear until we were almost in Hokitika where the sea breeze is keeping the clouds moving. It is cloudy here but not raining and much brighter than what we have had for past 2 days - we dont know how the locals deal with the persistent rain further south. As we crossed the river into town we could see the whitebaiters lining the sides of the river near the mouth in every direction. Once in town, we sought out another whitebait sandwich, visited the visitor centre, wandered around the shops then explored the museum (which is excellent) for an hour or so. We are now resting in our room which is overlooking the wild west coast beach watching the waves crashing in - very pleasant.