Day 13-Fox Glacier

Date: 13.11.2003
Start Location:

Fox Glacier Lodge & Motor Park
S: 43° 28.026' E: 170° 01.087'

End Location:

Franz Josef Glacier Rainforest Motor Park
S: 43° 54.179' E: 172° 11.663'

Distance Driven 89km (2841km)

Time: 09:10
Location: Fox Glacier
S: 43° 29.747' E: 170° 02.573'
Name: Fox Glacier Walk

This morning's main agenda item was to follow up our glimpse of Fox Glacier with a walk up to the terminal face. The walk itself was pretty mild, as the car park is no more than half an hour easy walk from the main viewing point. (The yellow box surrounds a group of people standing at the foot of the glacier)

Once we got to the bottom, I followed my "experienced alpine guide", Mr. Wellman, beyond the ropes and down to the face of the glacier.

Since this was the foot of the glacier, we could make out the heavy stream of water coming from underneath the ice.

And a number of rocks perched above on the ice.

And were also able to note some of the typical glacial blue ice caused by extremely compact water molecules.

Finally, for those who are interested. Here are some more scale pictures, one with Gaige at the foot and one with Mike closer to the top:

(Mike is shown below in the red box)

Time: 11:56
Location: Gillespie Beach
S: 43° 24.502' E: 169° 49.731'
Name: Beach Walk

After our hike at the Fox Glacier, we headed down the road to Gillespie Beach, where there was supposed to be a cool tunnel. An hour and change later, we hadn't found the tunnel, but had successfully walked the beach for a while.

Feeling content with the fact that we had now walked nearly people-free beaches on both the East and West Coast of New Zealand, we headed back to the vehicle in order to continue toward Franz Josef.

(For those of you keeping track of the weather, you will note that there was sun in the sky over the beach, which is quite different from our experience at Fox Glacier. However, don't let the sun fool you, it was still downright cold and the wind was wicked).

Time: 14:07
Location: Franz Josef Information Centre
S: 43° 23.421' E: 170° 10.858'
Name: Arrive Franz Josef

We arrived Franz Josef (the town) at about 2pm and made a bee line to the DOC Visitor Centre. Here we perused the weather reports (supposedly getting better for tomorrow) and took a look at the hikes and the trail closings. By the time we were done with that, and our initial reconnections to the outside world, we headed in to the town to find some food.

By the way, if you are looking for a late lunch there, don't expect to find one between 3pm and about 5:30pm. We walked from cafe to restaurant to bar looking for something resembling a lunch or dinner, and had very little luck. In the end, we did find one bar which was serving more upscale "bar snacks" and were able to get a reasonable meal there. Frankly, I was surprised that a salmon and chive omelet with salad would be considered bar fare anywhere, much less in a town of 321 people on the West Coast of New Zealand.

A quick trip out to the glacier to determine that it was indeed raining there too led to an early retirement and laundry back at the Rainforest Motor Park.