Glaciers

We had the day in the Glaciers today. It was supposed to be a sunny, fine day, but it was not. The clouds hung low all day and drizzled their bounty on us every now and then. Nevertheless, we headed out to Lake Matheson which has reflected views of Mt Cook. Theoretically. On a fine, sunny morning. We only walked as far as the jetty, and since there was no change, and the water was just brown and full of tannins, reflecting bush, I refrained from photographing.

Next location was the Fox Glacier. We did the Glacier Valley walk up to the Glacier – as close as you can get without a guide, anyway. I can’t believe how much the glacier has receded since I was here 10 years ago! I have included a link to my pictures of the glaciers from 10 years ago, as well as well as some from today. The trek to the top of the Glacier walk was quite long and wearing, but totally worth it. The posted 25 minutes is a lie! The close-up shot of the glacier shows some guided groups clambering all over the bottom of the glacier. Been there, done that (in 1985!) and my sister wasn’t interested, so it wasn’t for us.

The first picture here is from 2004, and the rest from today, 2014, for Fox Glacier.

2004-11-21 05 Fox Glacier

Views from the Fox Glacier Valley walk

Views from the Fox Glacier Valley walk

Views from the Fox Glacier Valley walk

Views from the Fox Glacier Valley walk

Views from the Fox Glacier Valley walk

Views from the Fox Glacier Valley walk

Views from the Fox Glacier Valley walk

Views from the Fox Glacier Valley walk

Views from the Fox Glacier Valley walk

Views from the Fox Glacier Valley walk

We stopped in the township to get some croissants and returned to the motel to have our nice cheese and croissant lunch before heading over to Franz Josef Glacier.

I had a quick stop along the way when a fantastic view across the valley presented itself.

View between Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

The road between the two glaciers is quite a winding one, even though it’s only 30km or so, it took a while with all the hair-pin turns!

Once we got to Franz Josef Glacier, we did Peter’s Pool Walk, which is signposted as having spectacular views of the glacier. This might have been true 50 years ago, even 10 years ago, but definitely no longer! No glacier to be seen. Pretty reflection though. And there was a bird flying around that was very photogenic.

Peter's Pool Walk at Franz Josef - bird

DSC04931

I took a picture of a rock that has been carved by the glaciers and is now overgrown with plants.

Gouges in rock from the Glacier

My final picture today was of the glacier itself. The first picture here is from 2004, and the second is today’s.

Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier

After this we thought we’d go down to Okitika for a look at the beach, but though I drove and drove and drove, it wasn’t coming up, so we turned around. We can find it tomorrow on our way north. Instead, we went to the Glacier Hot Tubs for a nice long soak in hot tubs in the rainforest. It was a lovely setting, and full of young tourists.

We soaked there for an hour and then went into town for a coffee to wake me up for the winding roads back to Fox Glacier. We went to Cafe 88 – I loved the funky furnishings!

After driving back to Fox Glacier township, we went to dinner at a different restaurant and both had the lamb shanks. My sister really liked them, whereas I was somewhat disappointed. Ah well.

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