On New Years Eve and Jan 1st I enjoyed very good weather on the Gillespie Circuit, much better than the names Mt Awful, Mt Dreadful or Siberia Valley would suggest. The track was a little bit more challenging then my other walks: two river crossings (1m deep) and some rough pieces of track in the beginning. Gillespie Pass quite steep and an unbelievable amount of sandflies in the valley of the North Branch of Young River, but sunshine all day and very clear skies at night.
Next day a long ride from Makarora, via Haast Pass, Haast Beach, Lake Paringa to Fox Glacier: 220km and 9 hours pedaling. After a visit to Lake Matheson, the so called mirror lake, I was a bit annoyed by all the helicopters transporting tourists to the glaciers, so I carried on via Franz Josef Glacier and climbing Mt Hercules to Hokitika (another long ride), where I spent a day to visit the Hokitika Gorge for a (short) swim and the local museum learning all about Greenstone and Whitebait.
I will continue along the coast to Greymouth and then turn east towards Lewis Pass.