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“Te tiro atu to kanohi ki tairawhiti ana tera whiti te ra kite ataata ka hinga ki muri kia koe. – Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.”


The warmer months are upon us, and the buzz of summer is in the air. Visitors from far and wide are arriving, excited to begin their Aotearoa adventure. 


“Every summer has its own story.” ~ Puji Eka Lestari


Lake Mapourika, Franz Josef, West Coast, NZ


Planning summer holidays is no small feat, of course. Most fairweather travellers spend the rest of the year dreaming of sunshine, beaches and ice cream. As time passes, those dreams become bigger and bigger, morphing into a full-length motion picture of the mind, forecasting tales to tell of adventure and excitement for years to come. 


Long days and warm sun indicate that now is the time to start planning. “But where do I begin?” you might ask. And rightly so. New Zealand may be small, but the possibilities are indeed endless. Let’s make it easy and focus on one region. How about … South Westland? 


With a buffet of places to eat, sleep and play on the West Coast, even here, you might feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. So, to make planning your itinerary a little less overwhelming, we’ve started our Local Spotlight Series. Over the next few months, we’ll shine a light on 12 local businesses, giving an intimate preview of just some of the numerous options available on the Glacier Country travel menu.  


Fox Glacier Top10 Holiday Park, West Coast, NZ


Each blog we release from this series will showcase one local business, asking questions such as:


  • What do you do?
  • Where are you located?
  • How long have you been operating?


We’ve also asked them to:


  • Describe a perfect day on the job.
  • Tell us what they love about living and working in Glacier Country.
  • Let us know what their favourite local plant, animal or insect is. 


From Whataroa to Okarito, Franz Josef to Fox Glacier, the reader will soon see that, in a place so far away, nothing is far away!


So stay tuned for our first spotlight on Franz Josef Wilderness Tours. It isn’t far away!

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Mike Bilodeau is a content writer for eco and sustainable tourism operators and an advocate for Slow Travel.