South Island 2014, Fox Glacier – Franz Josef Glacier

Today was a hiking day! Noomwalker has counted 18,000 steps – we almost done Tongariro crossing 🙂 In the morning, we were walking in Hokitika, then we bought some water and moved to glaciers!

Along the way we met some beautiful lakes. There is quite good camp site near lake Mahinapua, so I think it worth to come back and stay there for longer.

We walked on small tracks near lake and moved further – time was working against us and landscapes around was forcing us to stop and enjoy views 🙂

Soon we approached pass before glaciers.

And then moved to Fox Glacier. Most of the bridges across numerous streams are one way bridges. Some of them has pedestrian lane, some of them not:

Watch out real road signs, infoes and directions but not some points you have put onto Google maps from internet 🙂

Walking to glacier took almost one hour:

In the gorge there is a roar of stream cascading down from glacier and fed by glaciers melt

Access to glacier itself is restricted. You can watch it from lookout only. If you want to be close – you have to pay for a guided tour.

Anyway we were so excitd so we almost forgot about lunch 🙂

So we drove back to Franz Josef Glacier village where we were planning to stay overnight and we got pumpkin cream soup with veges 🙂

And then we moved to Franz Josef glacier. Walking to glacier’s lookout through gorge took 1,5 hours. There are thousands of routes for hikers with any level of experience and equipment.

I very liked these moss covered rocks:

Access to Fox Glacier itself is restricted as well, danger!

It’s funny, but looks like thy only one way to touch Franz Josef Glacier for inexperienced hiker is to hire helicopter and go up to the mountain. The glacier is melting and shrinking, the last time it was laying down in the gorge was 100 years ago. The gorge is changing as well – it crumbles and collapses every year.

Also, we met Kea, mountain parrot which is quite curious and smart bird

At the last, we were visiting couple of waterfalls, there are thousands of them here!

Before South Island trip I was told by my friends it is very cold there. Temperature is +22c, I walk in T-short and shorts three days in the raw. It’s pretty sunny, so we have to apply sunblock and wear panamas. Forester fuel consumption at the prevailing mountain road increased up to 9.2 liters per 100km in average.

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Ivan Grigoryev's Blog
Living in New Zealand. Blogging about the country, beautiful places, everyday life.
Do a skydive - halfway completed; get 1400 - still working on; reach 300kph - completed by 96.6%