What a peaceful sight.
I had this jaw dropped feeling as this is the 1st time I am on top of a glacier admiring the serenity and the peace of this awesome glacier. I fell like I could touch the sky.
Glad I did choose the chance of snow landing vs long flights. After a while of flying the sights will almost be the same. But with the snow landing experience and we are able to fly close to the face of the mountain the $ was well spent.
We hired Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Heliservices New Zealand for our helicopter ride. The price was $225 for 20 mins with a snowlanding of 10 mins.
We landed on Mt Cook & Mt Tasman Neve. It was a very "high" experience for me and I just started to pose in front of the camera.
The snow were so white and every step taken was difficult because it was calf high.
It is not as cold as I think but you must wear waterproof shoes else your feet may get freeze bite.
Fox Glacier is named after one of New Zealand Prime Minister, William Fox.
Fox Glacier is at a latitude of 44 degrees south and in a mild climate, no other glaciers in the world are as easily accessible as Fox Glacier.
The terminal face is just 5 kms from the township.
Walks ranges from 20 mins to 8 hours. Do take an easy 1 hour walk to the glacier terminal ice. Your trip will be a rewarding one.
No pain no gain so perserve on and dont give up halfway.
Pls refer to the map and select your preferred walks from Fox Glacier:
A Minnehaha Walk – An easy 20 mins return from village through the rainforest.
B Moraine Walk – A 40 mins return walk over old moraine surfaces through to native bush.
C River Walk - 40 min return. Connects the north and south bank roads. The track was an early route onto the glacier and crosses an historic swing bridge.
D Fox Glacier Valley Walk - 1 hour return. Walk up the riverbed to the terminal ice face of the glacier. Please heed all signs and barriers.
E Chalet Lookout Walk - 1 hr 30 min return. Crossing mountain streams, the track leads to an historic viewpoint of the Fox Glacier.
F Mount Fox Track – 8 hours return. Steep climb to alpine grasslands for view of alps, glacier and coastline. Marked route. 10 mins from village.
G Lake Matheson Walk - 1 hr 30 min return. An excellent walk providing unsurpassed reflective views of Aoraki/Mt Cook, Mt Tasman and the forested lakeshore.
H Peak View Point – 10 km from Fox Village. One of the best viewpoints in the area of the Fox Glacier and Southern Alps.
I Seal Colony Walk – Gillespies Beach – 21 km drive from Fox Village. 3 hour 30 mins walk from Gillespies Beach to the seal colony at Galway Beach.
J Copland Track/Welcome Flat - 6-8 hours one way. A popular overnight tramp which gives a glimpse of Westland's unique forest and mountain scenery. Natural hotpools at Welcome Flat are an added attraction.
It was a surprise to see waterfalls on the glacier.
Some are weak waterfalls as there was not much rain.
There is one that has a very stong flow of water.
Its so beautiful and awesome.
I wish I could stand at the edge of the glacier and look across to see the waterfall.
The snow on the glacier looks so different.
Some has a tint of blue colour in them and while others have greyish colour on them.
They look so beautiful. The pics are taken at different heights of the Glacier thus different shape (cant find a better word to describe it).
Take a helicopter and you will be able to explore this beautiful glaciers.
The lava of ice is retreating rather than flowing down.
It was a great experience to go very close to see the glacier. Not only did we get to se the bottom of the glacier, we also flew to the top and see a whole wide field of snow.
I was taking pics non-stop while on the helicopter and it brought back memories while I create this tip. It was awesome!
We hired Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Heliservices New Zealand for our helicopter ride.
We took the route which was only available from Fox Glacier. We explored the Fox Glacier & then fly by the sheer west faces of Mt Cook & Mt Tasman.
$225 for 20 mins with a snowlanding of 10 mins.
The helicopter is ascending from the ground and I was so afraid as this was my first time taking the helicopter.
After parking our car at the entrance of Fox Glacier, we decided to walk to the terminl face of the Glacier.
At the beginning of the walk, we came across this greenish pool of water.
It reminds me of JiuZhaiGou in China. I hope to get there soon one day to see the fairy land which everyone is talking about.
The New Zealand glowworm is one of many creatures that naturally produce light (bioluminescence). Although they are most spectacular in caves, glowworms are also quite common outside - they can be found wherever conditions are damp, food is in good supply and there is an overhanging wall.
If you wanna see what glowworms like, there is a Garden within closed walk from Ivory Towers Lodge which has Glowworm.
We went there around 10pm after having dinner... there was no light except the lights provided by glowworm. It's quite an experience trying to find the path along with other visitors who obviously has been drinking :)
This is the Lake which has been photographed most often for NZ postcards.
It's 10-15 minutes driving to get to the lake from Fox Township. Once we parked don't expect to see the lake right away. We have to walk for another 1 hour to fully see the lake from different angles and back to where we started. It's really not a big hassle if we didn't do the full day walk the previous day.
The lake and the surrounding scenery was breathtaking. You can see Mount Cook and Mount Tasman reflection in the water
It is best seen in early morning at sunrise or at sunset
After contemplating between Full day walk and half day walk we finally decided that we're fit enough to take up the full day walk.
It's a wise decision as we really enjoyed our walk. We bought out lunch at a cafe in front of the Alpine Guide's office (Yummie sandwich and banana cakes) and gathered at 9am and then was given intro by our guide and choose the boots, crampon, jacket, waterprrof pants, gloves. Can even borrow sunglasses and backpack!
We started walking for 1 hour to reach the terminal where we have to start putting on our crampon and start walking up the trail.
We stopped halfway for lunch and rest for about an hour.
There were 10 people in our group and the guide was knowledgeable. We managed to find 2 crevasses a long the way and take pictures
We walked back using different route. Finish the walk at 4.30 pm.... it was a long walk :)
We head straight to our bed when we arrive at the hostel.
My legs surely ache the next day...... but it was totally worthed!!
Try this Half-day Fox Glacier Walk which last 3.5 - 4 hours. You'll have to be reasonably fit as it involves uphill climbing. For those who are more adventurous and fit, there's plenty of longer walks and activities.
Tours starts with an eco-tour through the rain forest then onto the incredible world of ice. You'll enjoy fantastic views of the glacier and its upper and lower icefalls, passing through fascinating details of this natural landscape sculpted by ice.
Wrap yourself up warmly especially in winter months (you'll need your gloves & hat). Wear clothings that are windproof & waterproof especially on wet days. Carry a bottle water and little snacks if you can/prefer.
Also, remember to bring your camera and lots of film (or a digital camera)!!
9:15am & 1:45pm (extra trips in summer), except on Christmas Day
NZ$36.00 Children (ages 7-16)
There you see me in the distance standing in front of our helicopter on top of a flat area at Mount Tasman.
This mountain is not too far off from Mount Cook. The thrill is, you get to land on the mountain near the peak and see what it's like. The only other way and longer, is to climb it yourself.
The helicopter ride was expensive and cost nearly $200 per person for 20 mins. Thus, if you don't have the budget, perhaps you can try the cheaper and interesting glacier walk which is around $50 per person.
Anyway the snow on the mountain was incredible soft and deep. It took an effort for me to stand without getting my shoes and jeans (wrong attire for being on the mountains) to not get too soaked.
Also it was surprisingly hot and bright on the mountain. I had to take my coat off and was basically wearing just 2 layers- a fleece jacket and tee shirt.
It is a thrill to be on the mountain and probably a never-do-that again experience for me.
This is another picture of the spectacular valley from another angle as seen from our helicopter.
As you can see, the ocean is on the top end of the middle and it seems as if it extends all the way to the coast.
Almost but not quite. The West Coast it seems is very, very close to the mountains and is quite flat especially at town areas and extends about 1 kilometres before it meets the ocean.
Thus Haast, Fox Glacier and Franz Josef are one of the few largest towns you meet while on the West Coast.