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Published: March 5th 2010
We could not wake up to a more a beautiful day but I have seen how fast the clouds can roll in when you are not paying attention. This morning we had our helicopter flight and we were a bit worried that our flight booked for 9.30 might be too late to really enjoy the full glory of the Glacier's. Well we could not have been more wrong! It couldn't have been a more beautiful day! The sounds of helicopters during your stay to see the Glaciers is very common and there are many companies for you to choose between. We chose Mountain Helicopters as they came highest recommended in Rankers. We were very pleased to hear that they used the smaller helicopters which meant that everyone had a window seat and no one was stuck in the middle.
We chose to do the grand traverse which lasted for half an hour and you got to see both the Glaciers. Trust me when I tell you that this is definitely the way to see the Glaciers! I was a bit nervous at times as we got close to the snow and the rock and you could feel every jolt and
movement of the helicopter but the beauty of the mountains was a pleasant distraction. You really get to appreciate the ice formations from above as you see the depth of the cracks in the ice some filled with the bluest of water. With the good weather our snow landing was definite and it was great for the couple minute break to get out soak up the views of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. It is of course a great picture opportunity and the pilot is more than happy to take your picture! It was an amazing experience even if I needed to take a break at the campsite afterwards to settle my stomach a bit before we went to see Franz Jospeh Glacier up close.
Again the walk is about an hour to get close to the Glacier and you can't get as close as you do to Fox. You get a good idea of what the terrain used to be like and how the area is changing as the Glacier recedes though it does grow depending on snow fall above. There are two more short walks in the area as well which had easy access to this time
so we took advantage of that and the sun that was still shining. We managed to fit everything in before having a late lunch outside at that! We had rented a picnic table for our trip and this was the only time that we used it! We hung around our campsite, having a shower and checking our e-mail before venturing to a pub in town with great views to the mountain.
We figured that it was going to be a long drive tomorrow to get back to Christchurch by the afternoon to return the Camper so it was an early night for us as we planned for a six o'clock wake up call!
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