German tourists have scary awakening near rising Whataroa River
Some of the 970 tourists trapped in Franz Josef are feeling lucky to be alive after escaping rising flood waters during the weekend storm. Slips and wash outs south and north of the tourist town mean the only way in or out is by helicopter and so most are unlikely to be able to get out before Friday. German backpacker, Tim Hannig and his travelling companion Tristan Timmering are taking refuge in neaby Whataroa. He told our reporter Conan Young they were asleep in their station wagon a good 50 metres away from the Whataroa River when it started to rise around them in the early hours of Saturday morning.