To Franz Josef, New Zealand

July 5, 2012

From Greymouth we drove further up the South Island to the Franz Josef Glacier

We stopped on the way of course, we did a lot of driving on this trip frequent stops were necessary. They were never a hardship there is always somewhere beautiful to stop.

Most people who come to New Zealand to road trip it, a lot of people do this in camper vans… the roads are full of them, well as full as South Island roads get… i.e. not very!

Epic moody clouds…

Just before we arrived in the town we saw a helicopter coming into land… this is one of the best ways you can see the glacier, but it is very expensive and not something we could do on such a long trip… although we did think about it, it would be so cool.

 River views…

The Franz Josef Glacier town…

The mountains were hidden when we arrived…

 

But by late afternoon the sun had burnt through and we set about trying to book a trip up the glacier…

It was really lovely here, a real tourist town as so much relies on the glaciers and its visitors but it has a really amazing feel.

Who wouldn’t be happy looking at this every day…

Another helipad…

We stayed in the YHA here, and in several other places too and we cannot recommend them enough, always clean, a real nice mix of people and we could always get our own bathroom… not always the case with independent hostels.

They also had monopoly. I thrashed my husband a few times… Monopoly is my game.

We couldn’t get a trip onto the Franz Josef glacier but luckily about half an hour away; the Fox Glacier.

On the way we were  advised to visit Lake Matheson, also called the lake of reflections…

We were so lucky with the beautiful weather.

 

 

I only wished we had more time to get to the end of the lake… this was as far as we had time for before our glacier walk…

This is why it’s called the lake of reflections…

Image from NewZealand.com

We hardly saw anyone while we were there and we had a nice picnic by the lake before heading to Fox…

Despite the fact that we were going to walk on ice it was a hot day so we packed some trousers and stuck with the shorts… and some real ugly boots! Take your own if you’re not into these…

I don’t think I’ll ever been this brown again.

The start of the glacier…

There are regular landslides and we heard quite a few tumbles while we were walking… but nothing serious enough to make us go home apprently.

 The ice is dirty at the bottom… not how I imagined…

The companies that have license to take tourists up the glacier get up early and come ahead to carbe pathways… these steps were serious, they also check it’s all safe for wlaks to go ahead. They do not recommend coming up here alone even if you are experienced…

We really enjoyed wlaking on the ice… you get given spikes for your shoes and you have to walk differently than you normally would, almost like you would do in heels (girls) but it’s a absoutely fine once you get used to it.

Definitely an experience worth doing.

Also we were advised to do a half day trek, as this was the one that anyone can manage. And as I mention before New Zealanders have a habit of saying a walk is easy when it’s actually a six hour mountain trek… but we could have easily done a hwole day which we have meant we could have gone much further up the glacier.

The half day trek was super easy, so if you are active in any way I would say take the challange and do a full day.

 

 

We  got to drink the glacier water too… the best water I have ever tasted.

After our fairly active afternoon we treated ourselves to a few hours in some HOT pools… love this, really wanted to do some more there are quite a few on the South Island.

 

Then we went out for dinner… our second and final night in Franz Josef…

 With a well deserved beer…

And wine… I don’t think I have ever had some much delicious wine in my life as I did on this trip, even in the supermarkets there is so much choice. It pretty much seemed a shame not to.

 

 Then we moved on again…

One Response to “To Franz Josef, New Zealand”

  1. thekaydays Says:

    This place looks amazing! Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos! 🙂


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