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Glaciers are cool!

Franz Joseph & Fox Glaciers

semi-overcast 6 °C
View Gary & Vicki Ponder-Payne tour 2008 on GPonder76's travel map.

We apologise for the whinging in the last blog entry and hope that you are still reading.

As soon as we had posted the last blog we walked out of the internet cafe to see that it had stopped raining, Yey! :)
So we drove to the bottom of the Franz Joseph glacier and had a stunning view. All the rain had washed away the icy white frost from the surface to leave a stunning glacier of very blue ice.

All helicopter flights up to the Franz Joseph glacier were booked up so we headed for the Fox glacier where we managed to get on a flight. Our flight was at 12:00 and it was a tense morning hoping that the cloud would not decend. Shotly before 12:00 we go the all clear from the pilot and we hopped in the chopper and had a short but amazing ride past the glacier terminal and half way up the 13km length. Also managed to get the front seats in the chopper which was excellent.
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Once on the ice our guide took us through ice cave and tunnels and streams.
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As we were up there the cloud did roll in and all flights for the rest of the day were cancelled, but they did send another helicopter up to get us although they did have to move the helipad. If the weather had been too bad they said they have emegency supplies stored in some barrells on the glacier in case of having to spend the night up there (but I think they were full of beer).

We were so happy to have done this helihike in the short window of opportunity which the weather allowed. On our flight back down we realised how lucky we had been once we saw the damage caused by the heavy rain. We could see the car park at the glacier terminal had been flooded and four cars (including the van that belonged to the guides) had been trapped, also the access road to the car park had been completely washed away.

From here we headed to Queenstown for more adrenalin action.

Posted by GPonder76 15:21 Archived in New Zealand Tagged tourist_sites

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