New Zealand’s Frozen Beauty: The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

Last Updated on 4th February 2024 by admin

New Zealand’s South Island is home to some of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, and the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are certainly no exception. These two stunning glaciers, located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park, offer visitors a magical view that is truly unforgettable.The Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier are among the most accessible glaciers in the world, extending through the rainforest almost to sea level. The glaciers cover almost half of the Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park area.

These glaciers are one of the most impressive spectacles of nature and are also easily accessible to mountaineers and hikers. In the heart of the west coast, these two glaciers fall from the mountains to the waves of the Tasman Coast. The Fox Glacier is named after Sir William Fox, after a visit in 1872 who was Prime Minister of New Zealand in the 1870s. The glacier is over 13 kilometers long and descends from the Southern Alps to just 300 meters above sea level. The Franz Josef Glacier, named after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, is slightly shorter at just over 12 kilometers in length, but descends to a lower altitude of 250 meters above sea level.

The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

What makes these glaciers truly magical is the way in which they interact with their surroundings. As the glaciers slowly move down the mountain, they carve out deep valleys and gorges in the landscape, creating a dramatic and awe-inspiring view. Visitors can see the deep blue ice of the glaciers, contrasting against the greenery of the surrounding rainforest and the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps.

One of the best ways to experience the magic of these glaciers is by taking a helicopter tour. From the air, you can truly appreciate the scale and beauty of the glaciers, as well as the surrounding landscape. Many tours also offer the opportunity to land on the glacier itself, where you can take a guided walk and explore the crevasses, ice formations, and sparkling blue pools.

For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, there are plenty of hiking trails in the area that offer breathtaking views of the glaciers. The Fox Glacier Valley Trail is a popular choice, offering a relatively easy walk through the rainforest and along the river, with stunning views of the glacier at the end of the trail. The Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk is another great option, taking visitors through a beautiful valley and past waterfalls to a viewpoint overlooking the glacier.

It’s important to note that the glaciers are constantly changing, and their retreat has been accelerating in recent years due to climate change. As a result, it’s important to take appropriate safety precautions when visiting the glaciers, such as following marked trails and not venturing onto the ice without a trained guide. Beauty alone reigns in this place of New Zealand due to the Fox and the Franz Josef Glacier. What are your thoughts on this?

In conclusion, the magical view of the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers is a must-see for any visitor to New Zealand’s South Island. Whether you choose to view the glaciers from the air or on foot, the stunning blue ice, lush rainforest, and snow-capped peaks make for an unforgettable and truly magical experience.

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