Blogs from Franz Josef, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 21st 2015

I'm in Franz Josef right now. It's a tiny town on the west coast, which attracts people with the one out of the only two accessible glaciers in New Zealand - and there are 3165 glaciers in total here. I've been wanting to climb a glacier for quite some time now, and taking into account that the first time I planned it in Icealnd last year was cancelled because of the weather conditions, I was really happy I could do it this time. So inspite of the rainy weather forecast and clouds today, we founded ourselves boarding the helicopter in the morning and were brought to the Franz Josef glacier! The hike was absolutely fantastic!! Walking on the ice, drinking delicious icy glacier water from a little stream, exploring small ice caves - in my opinion, ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 13th 2015

Hi everyone, just come back from walking to the Franz Josef Glacier. It was an hour and a half to two hours return so it was fine, didn't have to take any ropes or pickaxe's !! Stu and I dressed up for the occasion, well it was going to be freezing right by a Glacier ! Crikey, by the time we came down we were sweating buckets !! I had gloves, scarf and a 3rd fleece in my back pack, I have no idea what we were thinking, were we going to stand on it ? We were 250 metres away from it, Stu said this was dangerous as we could hear rocks constantly falling down around us! but it wasn't, otherwise we wouldn't be allowed anywhere near it! even though the weather could change very ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 13th 2015

Morning everyone, sometimes I can only get a couple of photos on at once depending on how good the wi fi is, so check back the previous day or two.... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 12th 2015

Hi everyone, set off this morning on a 'hairy scarey' ride to Franz Josef which has a the Franz Josef Glacier, took 5 1/2 hours, a couple of stops on the way for photos and lunch. Lunch being a homemade wrap and coffee in our flask (were on a budget !! May have mentioned that before !!). We headed up the Crown Rangers and took the Highway 6, heading West, then up North), This was the scenic route up the mountain, windy, windy, windy, down the mountain, back up the mountain, back down the mountain, flippin heck, how many more mountains !!! Must have reached the top of one of these peaks !! On the way, there was a sign which said 'whitebait patties', now this is something we have heard about but never tasted. So ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef February 17th 2015

Wednesday 4/2/15 Hokitika to Franz Josef. Quite a short journey today so we had a wander round the shops in Hoki, bought a few souvenirs and found the ONE RING but it was $760 so didn't get it.Leaving and the weather changed quite spectacularly, raining so hard we had to stop for a while but it cleared up and was good enough by the time we reached Franz.Another day another motel, this one was quite good, bit tight for parking but a cool view from the door.... read more
Our Cottage
View from cottage
Franz Josef Glacier

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef January 31st 2015

Last night we 'freedom camped' beside a lake just outside Queenstown. Dave got soaked cooking onthe bbq, and it rained so hard we had a lake around the campervan. However a good nights sleep and all dried out inthe morning. We went to the Queentown branch of the camper van hire company to collect fresh bedding and towels and to swap the satnav that had been giving us a bit of a problem. Then stocked up on supplies at the supermarket and head down for the glaciers. The drive was a bit of a slog but took us over the top of the mountains and along side lakes, very beautiful scenery. Unfortunately the tablet was flat so no pictures for the blog. Finally arrived in glacier land about 8pm. Booked into a costly and cramped camper ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef January 9th 2015

Franz Josef není jen historický chlápek, jde taky o vesničku a ledový ledovec. Nebo možná ne tak ledový, neustále se zmenšuje a to přímo dramaticky. Koneckonců ale to je ledovec, tak by se mohl ode mě dočkat trochu úcty...dobře, dobře, je to ledový ledovec. Franz Josef je taky absolutně miniaturní vesnička, která má od všeho jedno, nanejvýš dvě (snad včetně ulic) až na turistická centra s výlety- jen obchody nabízející výlet helikoptérou jsou alespoň 3. Evropská kavárna (to je název a pouze a jen název) s dnešními koblihami za $4 nebo včerejšími za $2 doplnila energii nám i bateriím našich mobilů. Saskia si na další den zarezervovala seskok padákem, měly jsme tak čas na procházku. Vydaly jsme se na údajně 3,5 hodiny trvající Three Miles Track. Polovina vede lesem a druhá polovina po pláži- ta plážová ... read more
three miles track nas zavedl do opustene laguny
Desive, jak ledovec ubyva
maori totem

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef November 11th 2014

Meet Franz and Fox - Our Glaciers So we leave Greymouth and make our way to glacier country, just about a 2.5 hour drive away. We restructured our trip so that we were chasing the sun instead of the thunderstorms. We saw that the storms were headed South to the Fiordland, so we elected to do Wanaka and Queenstown and the glaciers first, and then Milford Sound after. FUNFACT: Fiordlands are carved out by glaciers, and Sounds by rivers. So Milford Sound is actually a misnomer, We drive first to Fox Glacier, the smaller of the two glaciers. We have good weather for the drive, but have to don our raingear for the hike. I'm quite the vision in my bright yellow poncho and floral umbrella. At least we weren't like the fools we saw on ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef May 10th 2014

Franz Joseph is a tiny little town that’s sprung up to cater for tourists visiting the nearby glacier of the same name, though the ice is now retreating and according to most estimates will be gone within 30 years. Given that it’s been there for tens of thousands, this is a genuinely alarming thought. I had a moment of panicky leftwing guilt at the realisation that I’d just flown, and then driven, a very long way to see a glacier that I am now appalled is retreating due to global warming. I resolved that I was going change plans and do the regular glacier hike instead of the helicopter hike, because using an extravagantly fuel inefficient mode of transportation to go look at a disappearing glacier seems faintly ridiculous. Unfortunately it turned out that the bottom ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef May 7th 2014

The Mauri name for New Zealand is "Land of the Long White Cloud". I might have gone with "Land of the Long Wet Shower", but I can definitely see what they were getting at. Clouds are a prominent feature of the landscape here. They don't impassively form a backdrop like normal clouds. They morph and hover weirdly like UFOs. Cling in clumps to the sides of mountains like fake cobwebs at Halloween. Curl round your feet like dry ice at a school disco. The day after the kayaking incident I drove 350km from Milford Sound back to Te Anu then on through Queenstown to Lake Wanaka, via Arrowtown and Cardona. As far as whole days spent driving go, it was a winner. The road from Arrowtown to Cardona, in particular, necessitated stopping every 10 minutes to ... read more
Arrowtown




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