Franz Josef

The first activity in Franz was stone carving at Te Koha gallery with Panda. This was more in depth than the bone carving on the North Island as we were starting from the very beginning, choosing a stone and going from there, but we still had a LOT of help. We could either carve pounamu (greenstone) or Aotea (bluestone). You choose the design you want to carve and then the stone which appeals to you. I chose Aotea and the Ruru or Morepork owl.


This stone is rare as you can only find it in one area of New Zealand. It’s a unique mix of Kyanite and Fuchsite and is a healing stone supposedly good for stomach and sleep problems. The Ruru is a native New Zealand bird that the Maori say is a night guardian. If one crosses your path it is a warning to turn back. 

Panda used a saw to cut my stone to a better size and then I drew my design on.


He then cut ‘the guts’ of the shape for me and then I had to use a sanding machine with diamond paper to work all of the rough edges down. Then the proper hard work began. We had to use four different pieces of sandpaper to work on the shape, rubbing as hard as we could to get the shine. Then once that was done, Panda carved the features on for me. 


I love it so much and have been wearing it every day alongside my fish hook.

After carving me and Gwen had to run for the shuttle that would take us to the glacier walk. This is and hour and a half round trip that took us as close as possible. 

It was a nice walk, though it got quite hot, ironically, the closer we got to the glacier. 

*no picture here because WordPress is playing up and not letting me upload any more* 

We then took the shuttle back into town and visited the Kiwi Wildlife Centre. There were two 9 week old Kiwis in there who were going to be released into the wild when old enough. They are nocturnal so they had low red lights so we could see them as they can’t see red lights. We weren’t allowed to take pictures in there but they were adorable, 

After that we hung out back at the hostel until 7, when it was time for dinner. Burto had only gone and hired a limo to take us! The funny thing was it was only 5 minutes down the road but we still appreciated it! We went to the Blue Ice Bar and ate delicious food, played on the wii and sung kareoke. Well the others did, people pay me not to sing so I decided it was best I sat that one out. It was a great evening. 

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