Day 9 – Sunday 9th May 2010 Today is Mothers Day and we are going to walk to the glacier! We didn’t book a guided tour for the glacier walk because:
1. We have booked a helicopter flight over Tasman, Fox and Franz Josef glaciers for Wednesday morning. The flight includes a landing on Mt Cook!
2. We discovered that you could do the same walk to the foot of the glacier on your own and it’s free!
Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are easily accessible to the public and are stunning to look at. We parked in the car park of Franz Josef and set out on the walk.
The walk takes 1 hour and 20 minutes round trip and from the base of the Glacier you can view the whole 12 kms of the Franz Josef Glacier.
The distance is so deceptive and the height of the glacier is deceptive. It wasn’t until a tour started walking up on the glacier and you see just how small the people are that you realise just how big the glacier is!
There are many water falls along the walk and you can walk up to the river that flows out from the glacier.
Big chunks of ice that have broken off the glacier are just sitting in the river melting very very slowly.
It was a fantastic walk and I am so glad that we did it!
We stopped for lunch by a lake off the main road where unfortunately we were bitten by sand flies! Nasty buggers!
We drove along the coast to Haast, there are fantastic views and you can spot seals along the beach and the rocks.
At Haast we turned in land to head south East towards Queenstown.
We had to get to Queenstown by nightfall as we had flights booked for the morning to Milford Sound! Unfortunately this meant we were driving at night and we rushed through Wanaka and Cardrona Ski fields. Sometimes I think this might have been a good idea because the road coming down the mountain from Cardrona into Arrowtown was rather steep and very windy, probably best I couldn’t see the drop off the side of the road!
We made it and spotted a Burger King, so that was dinner! Well we were travelling with a child and we had to keep him happy!
We found a motorhome park close to the airport and called it a day! Franz Josef to Queenstown 354kms.