Frans Josef Glacier

4 minute read

Day 1

On the 25th of February we ventured out for some small hikes around the glacier itself. The previous night and early that morning there had been a LOT of rain (glad to see our tent holding up well) so the rivers were all swollen. As a result the main walk to the terminal face of the glacier itself was cut so we could only get a view about 250 metres away. Still some great shots though!

Stunning view

Me with a nice background

We did a few small walks and came to a place called Pete’s pool. Here is where I took my photo of the day!

One of the best photos I have taken

I was surprised how well this photo turned out and am very happy with it! :)

After that we went on what is called Douglas walk and admired the interestingly mossy nature of the forest before coming to the Douglas bridge. There was a raging river below us which was direct from the glacier itself. An interesting thing was there was large chunks of ice in the river! Impressive to see!

Femke at the bridge

Ice in the river

The only bad note was this was the first time I wore my boots since the Nelson Lakes hike and my feet instantly started hurting. This is definitely proving to be a serious issue with the Copland and Kepler hikes coming up and pretty soon too.

There was one other small thing that happened which initially gave us a shock but we can laugh about it now. As I was getting a park in the car park at the glacier, some fool reversed his car directly into us!

Luckily it was a light bump, but the car bonnet had been dented a bit. So the other driver who clearly did not want this matter to proceed any further, got some nearby rocks and put them under the bonnet and manually moulded the bonnet back into shape. Worked well which was nice, Magnum has another battle scar on the front (adding to existing ones) and that was that. The other driver was keen to be friendly and asked us about our trip and asked us for advice on the north island. I could just see in his head he was thinking: “Okay we are all friends. it’s all good. they are not going to take this any further.. phew! now I am outta here!”

Day 2

We had decided that Fem would go on a 3 hour horse back ride as it was something she really wanted to do and had not been on a horse for nearly 2 years. I decided that I would just go to a net cafe during that time and catch up on emails and blog updates. Since this was planned for the afternoon we were wondering what to do in the morning. We decided to go back to the glacier again since it was a fine day and thought we would get much better photos. We walked back to the main lookout from the day before and noticed the river was not as swollen and a lot more people were going past the main barrier. I thought what the hell and climbed over too but Fem wanted to stay behind. After a little walk and seeing what great views there were I went back and convinced Fem to climb over as well. Then together we walked over a few creeks and rocks to a much better view of the glacier!

CLoser view

Closest view

This took longer than expected to afterwards we went straight to the horse trekking place rather than stopping at Pete’s pool as first planned.

Fem had a good time on the horses while I got screwed over by the wireless company that was supposed to provide the net access. I ended up going somewhere else (the back corner of a converted bus of all things) and didn’t have enough time to do what I wanted to do. Oh well.

Day 3

On the 27th of February we woke up and looked at the mountains and this is what we saw from the campsite.

View from the campsite

So we set off to the Fox Glacier which was only about 40 minutes away by car. On the way we stopped at the Franz Josef glacier again (3 times in 3 days!) and did the Pete’s pool that we wanted to do from the previous day. Well the weather was awesome and we finally got the great shots I was imagining I could get!!

another great petes pool shot

After arriving at Fox Glacier we checked on Lake Matheson and decided to check it out again the following day. The lake is known for having an incredible reflection of the nearby mountains (including Mt Cook) but you have to try and catch it on a good day with not much wind.

We also considered sending me up in a chopper ride to the glacier. But it was just too expensive.

We rested in the afternoon and started planning the Queenstown part of our trip.

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