Blogs from Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier November 18th 2018

(Something happened to my last blog it was published on the website but subscribers didn’t get emails to tell them... so if you didn’t read it go to the PREVIOUS button above this and click , then you can read it. ) 1 st November I am writing this looking back on the adventures we have had .... waking up to crisp sunny mornings with snow on the mountain tops on New Zealand’s West Coast we would set off and let Colin take us down beautiful valleys , cross narrow wooden one way bridges , marvel at the wide river valleys and stop for viewpoints. Wherever we could we would get out and do walks ...through bush , listen to the birdsong and take photos. Some of the little towns like Hari Hari were perfect stopping ... read more
Landed.
Awesome !
Kokatahi

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier February 23rd 2018

We had a good day yesterday, weather-wise. It was therefore reasonable to assume, we concluded, that the New Zealand summer would get itself back on track, now that the cyclonic disturbances of the past week were history. You can imagine our surprise, then , at the immediate resumption of rain the moment we started our engines. Once again hoping that it would be a localised shower, we pressed on with the planned detour off the direct route, which was a side trip to Arthur’s Pass. And on this occasion it worked out – a nice ride into the mountains, broken cloud, twisty roads and some great scenery. Hanging a left at Greymouth, we went through the town of Moana, for those of you with small children and / or Disney movie addictions, on to Arthur’s Pass, ... read more
Gollum's Gaff
Pam, Gandalf & Smaug
Lunch

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier April 12th 2017

The weather managed to hold out a little for us for foxes glacier and we decided to take the hours walk up to it for some more amazing photos. As Jo so aptly put it on a quick video- small pappy, small lauren, BIG MOUNTAIN! The scenery is really quite impressive and me and Jo have both become rock/geology lovers overnight! Still on to Wanaka we headed via the Haast national park. Yet another awful awful drive with horrible scenery!!!! (Sense the sarcasm there!) We stopped off at the blue pools- I had been here last year and was keen for a swim this time around. A quick car change later and we were off with our towels to the pools. Covered head to toe with bug spray for good measure- I remembered Auntie Karen had ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier February 18th 2017

Today we arose early for our helicopter ride to the top of the Franz Joseph glacier. What a beautiful view of the highest peaks in the Southern Alps, with the highest being Mt. Cook at 12,500 feet. This is summer in New Zealand and the mountains are still snow capped. Most interesting is the Franz Joseph glacier is a warm weather glacier, starting at the mountain top and coming down the mountain into a tropical rain forest. The glacier exchanges itself every few years advancing down the valley and then retreat in back up the valley. Below the valley is a wasteland created by the glacier as it moved up and down the valley based on the snowfall they receive in the winter. Due to global warming, for those of us that believe it is real, ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier February 17th 2017

After a spectacular day at the south end of New Zealand, I had dinner. With a totally clear sky, I went out by the lake to see the constellations visible in the southern hemisphere. Specifically, since I will be returning to the US in less than a week, I took a long look at the Southern Cross, one of the things I especially wanted to see during my trip. The sky was ablaze with stars and the Southern Cross was there in all it’s glory. Today we traveled by bus all day on our way to Fox Glacier. We passed winery after winery growing grapes for the specialty of southern New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc, smooth and inexpensive. We stopped in to the Aurum winery for a wine tasting. This winery specializes in organic wines and have ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier August 18th 2016

The Westland area of the South Island takes you from the temperate areas of Westport complete with palm trees and one of the top ten coastal drives in the world, past lakes and rivers into glacier territory further down south. First stop on our way down towards the glaciers was at the Punakaiki Rocks and Blowholes. These are halfway between Greymouth and Westport, and are rock formations weathered and beaten by the pounding surf over the last 100,000 years. An extensive walkway easily accessible for wheelchairs goes around and back, to do the full loop requires a bit of mobility to descend a steep stone staircase. The Punakaiki rocks are layered formations, with surge pools of foaming white water and blowholes at high tide sending sea mist up metres in the air. An information centre, toilets, ... read more
One of the many one lane bridges
Martin drove half a day today
Relaxing at Stumpers Hokitika

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier May 2nd 2016

We’d had lovely journey on our first week in New Zealand, passed lovely scenery and explored towns but things were getting a bit…safe. Queenstown our next stop, is a busy small town on the north side of Lake Wakatipu, has made its name as a centre for extreme sports. The first ever commercial bungee jump was made at the nearby Kawarau bridge. If you are willing to spend some dollars, you can go skydiving, white water rafting, canyoning, rock climbing amongst many other activities. Our eye was taken by a large poster showing the Shotover Jet boat. 50 years ago an entrepreneur had the idea to take people on boat rides up the aptly named Shotover River on a then newly designed Jet boat. After some research, if you are going to separate yourself with your ... read more
Lake Matheson
Cinema Paradisio-Wanaka
Autumn colour-Arrowtown

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier April 27th 2016

Prior to leaving the West coast to traverse the Haast Pass to points east, I had two last things to do. First was to view Lake Matheson. This was an hour and a half walk around the lake where you were supposed to see majestic reflections of the mountains of the area, including Mount Cook, reflected in the still waters of Lake Matheson. Alas, it was overcast, little sun, and the mountains were in cloud cover. The reflections basically were non-existent. Quite disappointing. Since I had come all this way I had to see at least one glacier. So off I went to hike to Fox Glacier's viewpoint, a return hike of about an hour. I viewed the glacier from afar but as close as you could get unless you took a guided tour. It is ... read more
Reflections at Lake Matheson
Reflections at Lake Matheson
Fox Glacier from afar

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier April 5th 2016

R: We stopped at Hokitika on the way through which is filled with jade shops, being a prominent feature on the local beaches. Since we hit the west coast the weather has dramatically changed. The drive down to Hokitika was wet. We had a brief look around the I-site and town before heading out to the sunset point, in the pouring lane for a picnic lunch. To the Brits this was perfectly acceptable, but possibly a bit much for those of us who are used to Western Australia temperatures... We did a spot of beach combing and found some of our own jade, which is now stashed in the car for some later purpose, and headed off to Hokitika gorge which was about 35km from town. As we headed out, the heavens opened completely, and when ... read more
Fox Glacier
Haast Coastline
Sunset at Fox Glacier

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier February 29th 2016

Next stop was Glacier Country. We arrived into Fox Glacier early afternoon from Greymouth, an old gold mining town, where we had stopped off for one night to break up the long journey down. We were only staying for a couple of nights so decided to walk up to Fox Glacier that afternoon. It was a really nice walk and we got some brilliant views from the viewing point of the glacier. We had planned on walking on the glaciers, I've done it previously with my parents, but due to the ever changing weather conditions and the speed the glaciers are melting at we weren't able to unless we took a helicopter journey to the top, which wasn't quite in budget unfortunately. That was a shame but it was still great to see and just as ... read more
Views coming into Fox Glacier
Progression of the glacier
Walk to Fox Glacier




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