The Franz Josef Glaciers and Fox Glacier are easily accessible by car.
You could do a half day of full day hiking trip to Franz Josef Glacier by joining a guided tour.
There are many our agents that you could sign up with in town.
The easiest walk will be a 20 mins return trip to the Sentinel Rock Walk.
Grab hold of the map at the town centre and there are a few walks raning frm 20 mins to 8 hours that you could take.
Basal sliding is where the glacier slides over the surrounding sediments and rocks.
When the ice meets an obstacle it wont go stragiht but will find it ways to avoid the obstacle.
Thus there the pressure will cause the ice to be pushed down at a faster rate.
There are more than 380 glaciers in the Southern Alps of the South Island. The largest is the Tasman Glacier (29 kms) long.
About 30 metres of snow to fall on the neve of the glacier every year and thus forming the blue glacier ice.
It was amazing to see the blue and greyish snow from the helicopter.
Snow that is compacted on the neve forms blue glacier ice that is funnelled down the valleys of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers.
Day 1 - Arriving in Franz Josef town... A town? More like a street actually... its such a small place that I could actually spot my cousin, Yuen and his wife Sue,eating in one of the restaurant. Well they happened to be holidaying in NZ too...
If you're all out to see this phenomenon... "Ancient rivers of ice" .You made the right decision. Out of all the glaciers in the Southern Alps, only the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers have crept as far as the rainforests. These giant mass of ice have squeezed down their valleys to just 250 metres above sea level.
Be prepared !! For those we have not done excercise for a long time, no harm starting to sweat it out prior to climbing the glacier...
With no proper warm up , I bet u 'll be so tired and exausted after this trip... You probably don't feel like walking coz your leg hurt so much...
Well, I did my ground work so it was fine for me except some blisters because of the special boots that we rented from the local company that's leading the hike.
They will provide u with some kinda plaster which to me look more like a those tape u used to seal up boxes.. Anyway we brought our own plasters...
Socks.. my advice, where the socks provided by them over ur own socks.. reason being, the boots can be quite dirty and the colors actually stained the socks after a few hours of climbing and hiking...
You will be provided with special spikes too... but becareful, those spikes works really well on the ice but not on the rocks.. it might be quite dangerous and slippery at times.. so be very careful. Rule no one.. take it slowly...
So be sure to check out either the FOX Glacier or the Franz Josef glacier when ur in South island....
Proceeding south out of Franz Josef Township, cross the Waiho River Bridge and turn left onto the Franz Josef Glacier Access Road. You'll find the car park at the end of the road.
Signposted from the car park is the Franz Josef Glacier walk, which will guide you on a 45-minute trek over rocky riverbed to within a safe distance of the glacier's terminal face. The glacial debris along the track is interesting, with scarred boulders and rocks giving clear evidence of nature's power.
Wonderful photo opportunities at the end of the track, with glacial water cobbling its way down the valley and icy blue glowing from the glacier's crevasses.
For your own safety, observe all safety signs and wear comfortable but sturdy hiking shoes.
The 4.5km Peters Pool track is signposted from the Franz Josef Glacier car park. It wends its way through 40-year-old shrub forest sprinkled with Mountain holly, tree daisy, tutu and three-finger.
Peters Pool is a kettle lake formed by melting ice and reflect mirror images of the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier in the background. A very scenic spot for some one-on-one communion with the majesty of nature.
It is an expensive thing to do but since we didn't get the helihike, we decided to atleast do a heli ride over the glaciers. This was our first Valentine's after marriage and this was a great experience!
We were thrilled to visit this pool just at the entrance to the glacier, standstill was a word we understood after seeing this pool. It offers a perfect reflection of the glacier and all surroundings! Everyone who came here were almost afraid to breathe lest they disturb the still waters!
Walk upto the glacier and back- an easy walk, and allows you to observe the terraina round with the deep gorges that the glacier has created and at the same time it allows you to watch as blocks of ice fall off the mouth of the glacier! There are a couple of waterfalls as well enroute.
Being tourist season (mid-summer) we booked our helicopter flight well before leaving Australia. Which turned out to be a good move as they were pretty much booked out. Glacier Helicopters do a few different types of flights. We chose the Franz Josef Snow Landing for $175NZD per person. What we got was an amazing experience we will never forget. A flight up the mountain with a landing in the snow on top.....a quick walk around, take some pics and an awesome flight back down. Around 25 minutes all up but well worth it. We got some wonderful pics and is also all on video.
The surrounding was just picture perfect - you have the glacier, river, mountains and even waterfalls. There were two waterfalls. One that was higher up the mountain. Coupled with the wind, the vertical descent was spread across a wider area. The other waterfall was easier to get to. I tried to get as close to this waterfall as possible. I looked for rocks to step on to keep my feet dry as I inch myself towards the waterfall. I did not want to make any wrong move which my jeapodise the dryness of my shoes.
I could feel the cool mist of the waterfall, and the water was a little icy too. That was good enough.
We started with the Sentinel Rock Walk and continued our walk into the Waiho Valley towards the Terminal Face. The Sentinel Rock Walk really offers you a breath-taking view of the glacier.
Walking in Waiho Valley was truly an experience to savour. With each walking step, you 'd come closer to the magnificant glacier. We walked till we came to a sign that forewarned us of the dangers of proceeding further. We had wanted to live and see another day of New Zealand. Thus, we just sat there for more than 1/2 hour to admire this wonder of nature. Just soaking in the atmosphere!
Noticing the little things in life can sometimes bring out abundant joy. As Jac and I were walking towards the Terminal Face, we chanced upon this little block of ice amidst the greyness of the rocks.
It was unique as it was just sitting there quietly in the sun, not really sure how it got there though.
One distinct sound that you'll not missed when you're in the Waiho Valley is the clash of rocks, so it seems. Jac and I were trying to track the sound like what you'll hear when you hit two rocks together. Walking closer to Waiho River, I was amazed by the sight and also, I understood what was making that noise - swift-moving ice boulders were colliding with rocks found in the river.
The Waiho river was flowing pretty fast, and you could feel the breeze as the rapids made its way down-stream. I've seen snow, but this was definitely the first time that I've witnessed large ice blocks being treated with little contempt by the wide-roaring Waiho River.
The Franz Josef Glacier may offer you that breath-taking view.
But what also caught my eyes were the natural rock formation in that area. Some parts of the ground that we stood on reminded me of pictures that I'd seen about planets in our solar system. This smooth rock surface has been created over time as the ice moulded the ground, leaving with it magnificantly shaped lines and bumps.