Franz Josef Glacier

Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
Trip End Dec 10, 2009

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Where I stayed
Glowworm Cottages

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We had booked a heli hike on Franz Josef glacier for the afternoon but due to rain it was cancelled so we just pissed about for the day.  We drove over to see the glacier and seriously what a dissapointment it was in comparison to Perito Moreno in Argentina but we were told that by people we met in S.America who had seen the two.  Ror jogged back from glacier while I drove the car - first time they let me behind the wheel!  We ate in the local pub that evening and had a bottle of bubbly with our meal - we were still celebrating the skydive! 

The next day we had booked the helihike again for the morning.  We tried to book it for the afternoon but were told they could only take one booking from us so we went across the road and rang them with my family name and were booked onto the trip for the afternoon aswell - well we needed a bit of extra security just in case the morning flight didn't happen...and it didn't!  They couldn't let the flight go due to clouds rolling in.  We went out to the glacier again and did a walk up to it as far as you could get from the ground and it is more impressive up close than far away.  We got back just in time for a quick lunch and signed in for the afternoon tour.  The weather had cleared up alot so we were very positive.  They took us down to the boot room where we were suited and booted.  We were divided into groups and our group was told to walk up a ramp to where the helicopter was waiting so we were getting very excited.  Then she told us that they had to wait for some more cloud to clear and they were giving us 30mins - the time came and went and they couldn't chance going ahead with the heli hike just in case the clouds rolled in when we were finished and the chopper wouldn't be able to take off and we would be stranded on the glacier - no thanks!  They gave us another option of just taking a helicoper flight over the glacier which would take about 12 mins and cost around 70 euro - I was in doubt at first but when Ror and Niamh wanted to do it I said I would go too as I didn't want to be left behind and miss out!  We got into the chopper with another couple and I sat in the front which was a cool view beacuse I had windows down by my feet aswell.  We took off up towards the glacier and flying over it was unreal - we got to see the jagged peaks of the ice on the glacier which was cool.  We got to the top of the glacier and the pilot was telling us that alot of snow had fallen the previous night - it was like a blanket of cotton wool.  He landed on the snow then which was a nice surprise for us as we weren't told that he would do that.  We got out and were knee deep in snow - it was so serene up there - really amazing!  I sat in the back on the way back down and found my head and ears alot more sore that time but it was only for a few minutes so I didn't mind.  It really was worth spending the money for the experience and it really made up for the fact that we didn't get to hike on the glacier.

We set off that afternoon on our long journey to Queenstown stopping off on route to see Fox glacier from afar which was similar to Franz so if you see one thats enough I think.
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