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  • Day155

    Helicopter flight to the glaciers

    June 13 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    This morning we drove from Hokitika holiday park to franz josef. We stopped off at a beautiful lake along the way called Lake Mahinapua. We had beautiful views of the snow capped mountains.

    Next we drove straight to Franz Josef village. We could see the mountains as we were driving in. We had a flight booked to see the franz josef glacier and fox glacier for the following day but we went in to ask if we could do it today instead as the weather was good. Luckily they had space for us to do it straight away. We quickly grabbed some lunch from 4 Square. We first had a safety briefing then they walked us over to the helipad. Ashleigh and I went in first we were luckily enough to get front seats with the pilot. We put our belts and headsets on. We were both so excited. It was also our first time in a helicopter. We slowly went up in the air. It was quite smooth. First we went to franz josef glacier. We landed on the glacier and we were able to get out and enjoy the snow and take some photos. The Franz Josef Glacier is approximately 7000 years old and is a massive 12km long . Where the ice descends and meets the river valley below it reaches to less than 300 metres above sea level. The ecosystem around the glacier is extremely unique due to the combination of the ice meeting the Waiho River and the surrounding rainforest.

    We then flew up to see Fox Glacier and Mount cook. The views were breathtaking. I honestly had a tear in my eye. Definitely one of the most memorable moments of our life. After a 30 minute flight we landed. I could of easily stayed up there for longer.

    After this we went for a walk near the glacier. We walked through a rainforest. We couldn't walk close as it wasn't safe so we did a 30 minute recommended walk for that day. We walked past a beautiful waterfall and we could see the mountains and glacier from a distance. We saw a picture of what the glacier used to look like in 1908. And it was right up close where we were standing where it ended, now it is in the distance. It's very sad that it's melting away.

    In the evening we had pizza in the hostel glowworm accommodation. It was a lovely hostel very clean and comfortable beds. We spotted a Kea bird flying around. A kea is a large parrot found in NZ. We then went to Monsoon for drinks and had a dance. It was a fun night!
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