Posted by: John McGerr | February 10, 2009

Of glaciers and forests


We had booked a helicopter trip that would take us around Mount Cook, over Franz Joseph Glacier and land onto Fox Glacier, before bringing us back down again. When we reported to the office of the helicopter company we were greeted with the following announcement that ‘due to bad weather’ we would not be flying past Mount Cook. However that was the only blip – we would be able to do the rest. A bus brought us out to the airfield and we waited for trip. Seven of us, including our pilot crowded into the small craft, strapped in, put on our headphones and off we went. Liftoff was so smooth, only the gradually decreasing size of the trees showed that we were going upwards. The scenery was spectacular,  forest gave way to snow, ice and mountains.  We took a slow trip over crests that seemed close enough to touch before landing on the glacier itself. We were let get out and walk around a bit, not easy without the proper footwear, then it was back into the chopper for the trip back down. The whole trip was about thirty minutes but memorable. We still had the rest of the day to spend in the village so we took a walk out as far as the Fox river, this flows from the front of glacier and is grey in colour. On the way back we took the Minnehaha trail(seriously) which brought us through a small patch of rain forest then back onto the main road. It had been an eventful trip getting here but it was worth the visit and highly recommended to anyone considering visiting New Zealand.

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