The next day of our trip was one Mick was looking forward to. The main thing on his wish list, even higher up than seeing a Kiwi, was to fly in a helicopter over the glaciers and Mt Cook. He has never been in a helicopter, so where would be more stunning than here to try it out.
We woke to a partly overcast day, but hoped that things would clear before we reached Fox Glacier. Of course there were a few points of interest to call in and see before we got that far.
First stop was Knights Point Lookout, with these stunning rocks off the coast.
And we had to call in at Bruce Bay. So many rocks on the beach. You could hear them grinding on each other. The waves were mesmerising. Do you notice that the sun has disappeared.
There were lots of narrow, one way bridges on the South Island.
I’m glad I’m not a bus or truck driver.
Finally, we arrived at Fox Glacier and realised that Mick’s dream was not going to become a reality on that day. It was just too cloudy. When we arrived there were a few choppers in the air, but they seemed to dwindle. Just as well we hadn’t booked anything ahead.
We still intended to walk up to the glacier and have a look. There were lots of warning signs.
It is quite alarming to see how much the glacier has retreated in six short years.
We walked part of the way until we could see the start of the glacier in the distance. It was at this stage that I decided that I wouldn’t go any further. I’m
rather very unfit and I knew I would struggle up that hill. The track is that skinny line running up beside the cliff on the left. There are tiny specks on that path, which are the people. I sat it out on a rock and “Visited” with a nice gentleman from Texas, who had the same idea as me.
Mick took the next couple of photos. I couldn’t believe how dirty the glacier is. I wonder if it looks better in spring?
Doesn’t the ice make strange sculptures.
Remember how I said I love the 16 x zoom on my camera. Remember that photo above of the skinny line of a path. Well, I was able to zoom in and pick out Mick walking back down from the glacier. (That’s him in the white t-shirt and hat.) Pretty impressive.
By the way, he said I wouldn’t have made it. Lots of people were struggling. You can see on the photo above how steep it is. I’m glad I took the
easy sensible option. Maybe another time.
Back on the road, I finally got a photo of a farm shed. We saw quite a few of this design and Mick was really taken with the way they were constructed. Not quite like a tank on its side, but with a slight peak. We’ve never seen any like it in Australia and didn’t see any on the North Island either.
Next stop was to have been Lake Matheson, where you can take photos of Mount Cook reflected in the lake. Not today you couldn’t. Yep, Mount Cook is somewhere in among those clouds.
On well, we have an excuse to visit another time and hopefully have a better day. We really can’t complain, as we have had wonderful weather for the rest of the time, except for one day, and that didn’t stop us doing anything.
Anyway, we headed towards Franz Josef, where we had a nice lunch, spying yet another cute church along the way.
We did catch a quick glimpse of a snow clad mountain, so do believe they exist.