Sunday, 8 July 2012

Day 23 - Thursday 28th June - Fox Glacier to Hokitika

We had to get up early this morning for our half day tour of the Fox Glacier. We were kitted out with boots, waterproofs, crampons and bags and then taken by bus to the car park at the base of the glacier. The road to the glacier in built upon the old glacier bed and apparently the road occasionally subsides due to there being ice beneath which melts!

From the car park we walked up a stoney track near the river to the edge of the glacier, this track is being constantly reconstructed as the glacier can suddenly have a breakage of ice that causes a huge surge of water down the valley washing it away or huge rock falls or flooding from large amounts of rain too.

The Fox Glacier valley

Us with the Fox Glacier behind

Once at the glacier we had to put on our crampons for grip on the ice. We walked on the ice for about an hour, exploring ice tunnels, caves, huge holes, crevices and seeing the view of the glacial valley and the mountains! Incredible :)

Inside an ice cave

The Fox Glacier

Ruth in an ice cave

An ice hole

Looking down from the Fox Glacier

After our tour we had lunch in a small cafe which had acquired a small, friendly bird.

Our friendly bird

From here we continued our northwards journey. The road north passed another glacier called the Franz Josef Glacier which we had a short walk to view from a distance.

The Franz Josef Glacier

The rest of the day was spent driving mostly apart from a quick stop at a tiny Maori art gallery, interesting!

We finished our travels in Hokitika further up the West Coast and will decide where to head next...

En route to Hokitika

En route to Hokitika

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