Staying at the Glow Worm Cottages, Franz Josef, New Zealand
I write a lot about places I visit and my memories there. What I normally neglect to mention in the madness of it all are the places I stay and the transport I use hopping to and fro, so I will try and give more reviews of hostels, bus journeys, train journeys, hotels and airports in future.
This little gem of a hostel was on the misty, dreamy west coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
People have many methods of choosing hostels, B and Bs, Guest Houses, Hotels, Campsites etc. and they usually stick to one method. My girlfriend uses Hostelworld website. But I change my method each time. Sometimes I use the location, sometimes I look on hostelbookers.com, sometimes friends recommendation, sometimes the cheapest, sometimes, the worst rated, sometimes websites, sometimes tourist office, sometimes Lonely Planet books, but on this occasion, I booked it by its name!
The name intrigued me. I was stood at the counter in the tourist information office in Christchurch a few days earlier and the woman named about 5 hostels in Franz Josef (where I was to do the glacier hike and see the glow-worms). The name shot out because it was so different (sounded rather ‘quirky’) and that it sounded like it must be close to where the glow worms can be viewed…in the end this hostel was totally amazing. Just friendly, relaxing, cosy, warm and great to meet people. Location also superb and free soup in the cold winter (well, for New Zealand)
The view from the room window.
The welcome notes.
My ticket for the following day’s Glacier Hike.
My room key, which advertised Happy Hour in the Blue Ice Bar, round the corner.
The pool room.
Free soup – which was excellent – great that this hostel provided it.
Lemon and Paeroa – one of my favourite New Zealand drinks.
On my travels life always throws coincidences at me. Everywhere I go, if I see a “guestbook” (or something similar) I always sign it, and have a look at who signed it before. In the Glow Worm Cottages Guestbook, I found this gem – from fellow Northern Irishman Dave Cordner who had stayed there and wrote a wee tribute to David Healy!! He was there a few years before but I was so happy and surprised to find it. In the intervening years someone from the Republic of Ireland had put a comment on it, so I added an extra “1-0 Danny Griffin” to it, given that 11 years earlier we had beaten them 1-0 in Dublin. I also always try to leave some blog or email address and Dave had too – so I added him on facebook and he has now a copy of the photo to keep as a memory. Another epic moment of my travels…
Another view of inside the grounds of Glow Worm Cottages.
The tidy kitchen.
I liked this sign and I hate guests who leave their dishes lying around.
You can see my reflection here.
The car park – I was “backpacking” at the time so relied on buses instead.
The views were outstanding – the Franz Josef Township lies beneath gaping mountain ranges.
One last photo of the actual reason for even going there – covered separately was the Day hike to the glacier, covered here:
Where Is It? – Glow Worm Cottages, Franz Josef Township, South Island, New ZealandWhere I Stayed – Dorm 2 – single bed bunkNationalities I Met – Israeli, Hong Kongese, New Zealand, German, English, American, Irish, Dutch
* I’ve actually written quite a bit about my time in Franz Josef, so I’ll leave it at that. In Franz Josef I met Alex and Natali the lovely Israeli couple and Angie and Hei from Hong Kong, who I have since met in Tai O, Hong Kong!!