The Irwin Family Great Adventure travel blog

With our ice talonz on we are prepared. 2.7 km behind us...

Close up, just before the climb

Getting moral support

Close up to the blue ice

Narrow and steep

Getting help from Kevin

Sisley and Ethan in yellow

Making our way

Finally, and how beautiful everything is from the top

Our hostel in Franz.


This was a spectacular highlight of the South Island. We learned that a glacier is simply the remaining winter snow that the summer melt has been unable to remove from the cooler heights. Each year another layer of surplus snow is added to the glacier. Eventually, with time, it turns to ice and moves down the valley to melt away in the warmer temperature of the lower altitude.

With the help of our guide, Kevin, and our ice talonz, we made our way up the glacier. Some parts of the climb were pretty chall enging and Kevin had to pick up Sisley and Ethan on some dangerous parts of the track. The track changes daily. As the ice melts, so does the track making them dangerous, so the workers are on the glacier daily carving out new steps for the tourists. Some of the steps carved out were quite high so it made it a vigorous climb for the kids. also, their boots were not waterproof and they did not have woolen socks like the adults so their little toes froze. At the bottom and beginning of our hike it was a beautiful, hot, sunny day, but part way up the glacier it got really cold and started to hail. The ice was blue as we got higher up. We had a phenominal view of the glacier and valley below from the top. We were all feeling exhillerated and in appreciative of our earth.



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