‘The gem of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers’
The west cost of New Zealand’s South Island has several stunning glaciers that provide many a beautiful photo opportunity, but perhaps the best known of all is the Franz Josef Glacier.
Glacier’s themselves are pretty awesome. A body of dense ice centuries old that is constantly moving and shifting due to it’s own weight, influenced by its on-going climate. Unfortunately, due to fluctuating weather conditions cause by global warming, these beautiful glaciers are retreating all the time, their lifespan depleting all the time.
The other thing to note about Franz Josef is that to access the glacier you have to go up in a helicopter. As a result, actually being able to walk on the glacier is hit and miss. In fact, we were extremely lucky to get up there on the day that we did, due to the fact that the tour had only taken place six times during the previous month.
The experience itself is pretty cool, I mean, you’re walking on ice. Literally. Not only that, whilst you’re on the tour the guide educates you on both the glaciers official history and also the story of the glacier passed down by the Maori people, the indigenous people of New Zealand.
Personally, I think that the Maori’s story is beautiful, but also beautifully tragic. If you want, you can read it for yourself here.
To see my complete bucket list, click here