Fox Glacier > Queenstown
Well today we were all pretty excited to be visiting the Glacier we’d heard so much about. We pretty much threw our clothes on, scoffed our breakfast in one gulp and met the rest of the gang to head for the Helihike tour.
After getting our kit and being weighed, followed by a safety breifing we were loaded on to our helicopters.
Ok so I kinda went crazy with the camera here… As the saying goes: “a picture speaks a thousand words” … so I’m going to go ahead and let some of the photos speak for themselves.
The glacier water under the ice appeared bright blue. Our guide told us this happens because as snow falls on the glacier and builds up layers, the layers deeper in begin to deform due to the added weight. Air bubbles are squeezed out in this process and the crystals are enlarged. As light enters, all wavelengths are absorbed by the ice except for blue which is scattered, making the ice appear blue.
From our guide, we also learned how to use hiking sticks and crampons correctly, not to mention that the Ice from the Glacier takes 50 years to move from the top all the way to the bottom and out to the sea.
We were really lucky with the weather. We had clear blue skies and sunshine for the duration of our time in the glacier which was pretty cool. Considering we’d wrapped up earlier that morning, by the time we were half way through our hike we were really warm. The sun was surprisingly hot and we’d caught the sun, lucky we had sunscreen on. Who knew hiking a Glacier would be a great place to catch a tan?
All in all a great experience. If you’re ever in Fox Glacier Township, I’d recommend taking a tour up the glacier. You won’t be sorry.
After the helihike, we’d grabbed some lunch and made our way to Queenstown. It was going to be a fairly long drive so we had a few photo stops along the way.
After a couple of hours we’d stopped to stretch our legs and check out this beauty!
This Waterfall plays tricks on you. If you stare at the water coming down for a short while, then check out the rock face either side something strange happens. Anyone care to venture a guess what?
The last stretch of driving took us through “The Neck” in between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawae.
Another hour or two and we’d arrived at Queenstown, home of extreme sports and adrenaline junkies.
Oh by the way, those still wanting to know about the waterfall trick; the rocks look like they’re sliding upwards after staring at the waterfall. Freaky optical illusion.
Heli-hike company – Fox Glacier Guiding
Update; We were shocked and saddened to hear of the people who lost their lives five days after we had our trip. Our thoughts were with the families throughout the reminder of our time in New Zealand.