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New Zealand’s Glacier Nation: An Introduction to the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

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New Zealand’s Glacier Nation: An Introduction to the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

Just a limited push from the seaside, amongst a temperate rainforest, a mammoth-sized sheet of ice could be the last matter you be expecting to see, but in New Zealand this is specifically what you can obtain. Welcome to Glacier State, where two glaciers, 20 kilometres apart, increase to the perfectly-recognised diversity of the South Island’s landscape. For a entire New Zealand expertise, the blue glacial ice is a should-see all through any pay a visit to to the region. Drawing countless numbers of readers a 12 months, the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are the region’s most popular points of interest.

Relics of the ice age

Glaciers are large ice formations that originate on land. They are formed in environments in which the amount of snow falling is larger than the amount of snow that melts. The snow collects and, around time, compounds to develop a formidable block of ice. The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers were shaped throughout the final ice age, about 18,000 many years in the past. Due to the exclusive climate and geography of the area, the two glaciers get to just about to sea amount, building them quite obtainable to visitors. Franz Josef Glacier is also notable for getting a person of the few glaciers in the earth that is expanding: a rarity as most are shrinking thanks to global warming.

Mythical origins

Although most glaciers are fashioned by the compounding of snow, Maori mythology gives a much more intimate origin story for the Franz Josef Glacier. According to legend, there was a female named Hinehukatere who liked climbing the close by mountains. Her lover Wawe, even though not an knowledgeable climber, would accompany her on her treks. Sad to say, on one particular of these climbs Wawe was swept absent by an avalanche. Coronary heart-broken, Hinehukatere cried so a great deal that her tears flowed from the mountain top and fashioned the Franz Josef glacier.

Traveling to the glaciers

Many visitors are astonished by how available the glaciers are. It is doable to stroll ideal up to the face of the glaciers and admire the fat of this outstanding phenomenon devoid of any barriers. On the other hand, the ice can be harmful, and exploring the glaciers is much better completed with an knowledgeable guideline and suitable equipment. The Department of Conservation offers recommendations for securely visiting the glaciers. To aid you fully encounter the magic of the glaciers, a range of tourism operators give guided hikes on the glaciers. There are also possibilities for heli-hikes, which consider you on a jaw-dropping helicopter tour just before dropping you on the glacier for a guided hike. Guests concur that practically nothing can assess to the awe of going for walks across a wide sheet of millennia-old ice!

Other pursuits

Although the glaciers are certainly the celebs of the region, they are rarely the only attraction the West Coast has to supply. New Zealand’s all-natural magnificence and variety can be explored by means of a selection of walks and tracks past lakes, lagoons and as a result of valleys. For an unparalleled watch of Franz Josef Glacier, be absolutely sure to take the shorter Sentinel Rock Walk which finishes at a popular lookout. As always in New Zealand, there are a great deal of alternatives for adrenalin-trying to find travellers. How about admiring the glaciers from the air throughout a tandem sky-dive? To unwind just after the exhilaration, the glacier hot swimming pools in Franz Josef village provide a transform of pace. Fed by pristine glacial waters, the incredibly hot swimming pools are the best spot to close a day of climbing, sky-diving and sight-viewing. And if the pools aren’t stress-free enough, there is certainly usually the solution of a total system massage. For other regional attractions, look at out the Glacier Region web site.

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