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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Fox Glacier

When we arrived at the Franz Joseph glacier we were only given 30mins to go and see the glacier before we had to return to the coach. It was not long enough and although I asked the guide for longer, apparently it was not possible as we needed to be at the hotel at a certain time!

I was now getting really cheesed off by being in the coach and not having enough time to get out and explore so the next morning I was up at 5.30am and as we were not leaving the hotel until 9am I went for a walk to the Fox Glacier as otherwise I wouldn't see it. I had checked out the route the night before and knew where the track started. It was 9.5km round journey but I knew as long as I started out early enough I could just manage it. Dawn was just breaking as I left the hotel but the start of the walk was through a forest which meant that it was still very dark in there. It was about a 3km walk through the forest. I almost turned back because I started to frighten myself by looking at the shapes of the trees and thinking they were people! But I pulled myself together and was rewarded by the forest opening out into a glacial valley with no-one there except me. I was able to walk up to within 200m of the glacier. Then the sun started to rise over the mountains.

 It was just beautiful.

After almost 2 hours walking I could see the glacier.

Close up of the glacier.

I had to rush back though so I didn't miss the coach but I made it in time and what a fabulous start to the day.


  1. I can't believe your tour didn't actually visit the sights!!! And I wonder if they would have left without you if you hadn't made it back in time ...

  2. That is so annoying when the tour coach doesn't stop at the major attractions or stop often enough for photos we had one like that once. At the end of the trip when they ask for feedback, tell them about it. We did. You were very brave to do that walk on your own so early in the morning. When we were there we were supposed to have a helicopter ride to land on the glacier but it was cancelled due to bad weather. At least your weather looks fine.

  3. You are brave adventurer setting off on your own! Sounds like you were gifted with a sunrise and reflective solitude. :)

  4. As usual, nothing will stop you Marie....BTW thanks for the birthday card :))

  5. It was definitely worthwhile going back but your experience does highlight the problems of joining organised tours when travelling.

  6. I can't believe they didn't give you guys enough time to properly visit Franz Josef!!! Ugh! That's why I avoid organised bus tours like the plague...

    When I was there in 2008 my sister and I did a guided "hike" on the glacier. Unfortunately in the rain, but was still lots of fun!!! Of course when we woke up the next morning to leave there were blue skies and radiant sun! At least it meant we had a lovely view of Fox Glacier a few hours later...

    Bravo you for getting up so early to go view the glacier!!! It must have been truly magical at sunrise! Those glaciers are AMAZING!!! Did the guide tell you that these are the only glaciers IN THE WORLD (as far as I know) that are actually GROWING instead of shrinking??? It's because of all the rain the west coast of the Southern Island gets...

    What happened to stops between Rotorua and the Glaciers? How did you get down here all of the sudden??? ;o)


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