last updated 6 December 2015
Day 10 - 6 December 2015
The Glaciers
You learn something new every day.... After 37 years of happy marriage, I suddenly discover that Denise cannot stand to sleep in a room where an outside light from nearby cottages shines in under the curtains.  So an early night for David - but Denise is awake till about 2:30am. 

A new day and we set out to visit the two nearby glaciers.  The sun is shining and the sky is clear.  The birds are singing and it is a wonderful day to be out and about.  First stop Franz Josef Glacier.  We can only drive to close by as the path has been washed away by the raging river. 

Pictured is the view on the road to the Franz Josef viewing area.

We take a 20 minute walk to a viewing area and this is the result.

.. and from a second angle.  You can see where the path has been washed away.

Then Denise turns on her "super zoom" as she does... and gets the best pic of the Franz Josef Glacier. 

And then closer again.  Absolutely breathtaking... but we will get back to breathtaking in a little bit.

We exit the Franz Josef and head 25 km down the road to the Fox Glacier.

There are two viewing spots to go to.  The first (pictured below) is what you get from the viewing area - (another 20-30 minute walk).  A second is where you approach the glacier (an hour or more walk) but well worth every step and climb of it.  We will walk to within 200 meters of the glacier before the path comes to an end.  But I digress, back to that first view of Fox (below)

Looking at it in more perspective of its surroundings.

All of a sudden we were starving and exhausted so retreated back into the Fox Glacier township for a toasted sandwich each for lunch before setting out on the 90 minute hike to the Fox Glacier. 

Pictured below is the Fox glacier but from a different angel from first views.

Look how teeny weeny the people are.  This puts the walk into a better perspective. Long but spectacular.

Nearly there.... still have to climb that 40 storey ledge.  See how tiny the people are?  It was hike alright and quite a few streams to cross using only the rocks in the water for stepping stones.  It was a bit precarious.  One false footing and splash.... an icy end!

Time out!  Recovery time before we ascended the incline at the end of the walk.  It was a strategic decision based on the signage as you will see shortly.

But to our surprise, we were not allowed to stop while climbing that final part of the path!!!

They would have to put that sign just before a steep incline!  I bet there is the ranger sitting in his office looking at Fox Glacier Cam killing himself laughing at us all busting our gut to get up that incline before death doom and destruction throws a mighty blow!

By the time we got to the top, we were both totally exhausted.  Denise even discovered she could get asthma from such a climb.  That brought yet another dimension to "breath-taking".  Fortunately we were past the signage and now enjoying some wonderful views of the glacier.

Pictured above is where Fox meets the river.  Den even saw a big piece of ice drop off the end of the glacier into the icy torrent.

A close up of the top of the glacier (above) ... and pictured below, panning out to capture the whole sight in total perspective.

Pictured below is the view back down the valley from where we had walked.  The car park seems  so far away around the mountain, it is not even in the picture.  Great location for a movie shoot says Den!

We enjoyed our views for as long as we could and of course it was good to get in a bit of recovery time before making our decent down through the valley and back to the car.

Back in the Fox Glacier township Den wandered through a souvenir shop as you do from time to time on holidays. We were back at our Cottage well before collapsing at about 4pm.  Couldn't collapse yet ... had to do the website.  :-)

Tomorrow is our last long drive - 383 km back to Christchurch over the mountain range again!  It will take about 6 hours or so... See you on the other side :-)  .
Next Page Day 11 Fox Glacier to Christchurch