Frozen in Franz Josef
Trip Start Aug 12, 2010
135Trip End Sep 23, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Today we headed south to Franz Josef Glacier village nestled in Westland National Park which is a land rich in natural wonders - snow capped mountains, vast forests, sand dunes, lagoons and beaches…..all of which are not that appreciated when it is raining! But hey I’m sure it is all stunning when the sun is shining. Westland Tai Poutini National Park encompasses two famous glaciers - Franz Josef and Fox Glacier. This area is also home to a number of rare engangered birds including the Kiwi, Whio (blue duck), the Kakariki and the Kaka with its scarlet feathers (which we saw!).
On the way we stopped at Pancakes Rocks, which is supposed to one of NZ’s best tourist attractions but a little disappointing to be honest. Just a few rocks that are layered in a bit of a peculiar way but the pancakes served in the café opposite looked amazing
We are here to do the Franz Josef Glacier Hike. This glacier is a unique 12 kilometre long glacier. It descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres above sea level amidst tropical rainforest. One of only 3 "warm glaciers" in the world to do so. Due to the climate and melt water it frequently retreats and advances and continues to grow, at times as much as 70 cm a day.
We decided to do the Full Day Hike which meant we would spend 6 hours on the ice with just metal clampers on our feet for support. We climbed up challenging glacial terrain, jumped over deep crevasses, squeezed through ice walls and sat in ice caves. The day was amazing and was one of the best hikes yet!! Especially since the weather was gorgeous and the previous day when we supposed to do it there was a downpour.
In Franz Josef Tom and I decided to try out wwoofing. Don’t get carried away nothing dirty! Wwoofing stands for willing workings on organic farms; except we were in a motel. This involved working in order to get our accommodation for free. Previously, we had seen people wwoof in hostels for 2 hours max cleaning the kitchen or toilets or making beds etc
Anyhow, we still had a brilliant time here. See you in Wanaka and Queenstown xxx