Franz Joseph is a quaint little town — so small in fact that I was told I could drink myself under the table and try to get get lost on the walk home and fail at … well … failing. I didn’t feel the need to conduct such an experiment since it quickly became apparent that this statement was indeed correct.
Upon arriving in town, I discovered the only way to explore Franz Joseph glacier was by heli/hike since a piece of glacier broke off, effectively destroying the established footpath. Since I find nothing appealing about paying hundreds of dollars to board a helicopter, which is held up by magic in my opinion, I opted to hop on a shuttle and visit Fox Glacier. Fox is just short drive from Franz Joseph and the glacier is just as spectacular. Best of all: no helicopter ride required!
Though I was excited to walk on a glacier, I was worried about a few things:
1) Sliding off the glacier and breaking my limbs
2) Sliding into a crevasse and freezing to death
3) Being hit by shrapnel from an exploding nearby helicopter …. (yeah, that’s a thing with me.)
With the help of an experienced tour guide, crampons, and a little faith, I managed to avoid all of these potential outcomes. Instead, I had a great day walking about on very old ice while learning about glacial features.
There were quite a few neat nooks and crannies to see. The blue color of the ice was exceptional!
The journey through New Zealand’s Southern island brings more fantastic sights each day! I can only imagine what’s next as I continue onward ….