We travelled from Wanaka to Franz Josef today, quite a long journey. However it passed quickly vbecause we split the journey into 3 parts. The first part was by bus and we stopped several times on tbe way for photos, for coffee and sometimes for the longdrops.
In case you are wondering what a longdrop is!
It’s always useful to have some friendly advice!
The second stage of our journey was in a jet boat down the Haartz River. Great fun. The driver knows that his tips are in direct relation to the number and speed of the spins, so he gave us a good time!
As the river opened out into the Tasman Sea we rejoined the bus to travel up the coast. We are once again in rainforest but the vegetation is quite different from the Australian rainforest. Here there are no towering trees and vines struggling to find the light, but there is very thick undergrowth, mammoth ferns looking as if a dinosaur must be hiding in them and then taller bare trees sticking up from the lower vegetation
We arrived in Franz Josef by 4 p.m. and immediately went to the helicopter booking place.(one of the many). The helicopter took off from the car park behind the shops.
Two glaciers are reachable from here but today although the weather in the village was glorious, there was fog on Fox Glacier. That was no problem becauseFranzJosef was quite spectacular.
The glacier is packed snow, 150ft deep in places. Gravity makes it move down the valley at a speed of 5 metres year but it is also disappearing year by year. My great, great grandchildren may never see this glacier!