Franz Josef Heli-Hike! And some Market Research!
Mar 11, 2009
|Today was all about the Franz Josef Glacier!
We had book a Heli-hike for today.
It was quite expensive however it took you all the way up the Glacier to the more untouched pristine ice rather than the second hand stuff down the bottom!!!
There were day hikes etc but again these didn't get up to anywhere near where we were going so we went for our one instead.
After getting kitted out in our hiking stuff we got the helicopter up at about midday.
About 5 minutes later we had landed on the Glacier!
The town was REALLY close to it which was very surreal.
Within 5 minutes of being on the ice, we had our crampons on, and were merrily hiking away on a Glacier!! It really was such a surreal experience. Straight away you felt detached from the real world - even though it was only a couple of miles down the road!
The scenery was stunning and to have done this feels really special as you can't really do this in many other places can you!?!?
We had about 2 hours on the ice taking a million pictures (sorry for the excessiveness of us and ice!) but when are we ever going to be on a Glacier again?!?!?
The weather started to turn towards the end so we got back in the chopper and flew back to the town.
We were actually quite lucky as the afternoon flights had to be cancelled! In fact aparently only 40% of the Heli-hikes actually run as the weather is so erratic.
Our plan after this was to drive a couple of hours up the coast tonight to reduce our big old drive tomorrow over to Kaikoura.
This all changed when the girl in the Heli-hike place asked us to take part in a focus group thing about the trip in Franz Josef that evening...............and they'll give us food and $50 each! SOLD!!!
So we stayed in Franz Josef for another night.
The focus group market research meeting thing was actually quite cool and we had a lot more fun doing it than we thought!
This finished at about 10pm and having been fed and watered we retired to our ice beds for the evening ready for an early start in the morning.
An absolutely mindblowing experience today.
The Franz Josef (Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere in Māori)is a 12 km long glacier located in Westland National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Together with the Fox Glacier 20 km to the south, it is unique in the fact that it descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres above sea level amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest. It is also one of only three glaciers to come so close to a coastline.