Franz Josef Glacier is one of only three glaciers of its kind in the world. Of the other two, one is located just down the road at Fox Glacier and the other in South America on the border of Chile and Argentina.
Hello everyone. My name is Jay Darnell and I’m an American immigrant living in Christchurch, New Zealand. This coming weekend my wife and I will be taking our last big kiwi road trip before we return home to the United States. Our goal is simple: experience glacier hiking and the beauty of the West Coast. The catch: We’ve already booked a hike on Fox. So what do you suggest?
The two of us have been extremely fortunate during our adventures in Aoteroa. We’ve driven the Forgotten World Highway, ventured into the black abyss with the Black Water Rafting Company in Waitomo, hiked amongst the steaming pools of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, climbed through the goblin forest of Taranaki to converse with the lonely mountain himself, traveled into the shadows of the Southern Alps on horseback in Queenstown, sea kayaked off the coast of Kaiteriteri and more but this will be our first proper trip to the West Coast. We want to make it a memorable last adventure.
I’m eager to hear your feedback on any of the following:
1. The Glacier Itself
Is Franz Josef Glacier unique enough to warrant another hike when you’re already booked at Fox? Seeing that the two are part of an extremely rare type of glacier I’d venture to say yes but it will be a hard sell for a couple with limited funds. What do you think?
2. The Glacier Hot Pools
In doing a bit of research for this trip I stumbled across an article about the Glacier Hot Pools in Franz Josef. In the very least I’m interested in staying an evening in the area for a warm dip, especially considering it has started to really cool off. But are they open during the winter? Have you experienced the Hot Pools and were they as wonderful as they sound?
How does the heli-tour view compare to that of the standard day hike? This may sound like a silly question but is it worth the money? We are in a recession after all and the flight is a tad expensive. I’m keen on the idea but I’m interested in hearing from you!
4. Free Public Hikes
Are there any free public hiking trails in the area that you enjoyed during your visit? If so, what trails can you recommend and how can I find more information about them?
5. Grabbing a Cold One
While visiting the Franz Josef area did you find any enjoyable pubs where you can warm your hands as well as your insides?
In preparations for our trip I’ve set up a new Flickr Group for the Franz-Josef area. Please feel free to share your own images from your time in Franz-Josef! I would love to add some photographs like those found in Breezy Azevedo’s Gallery to the group in the future. They are amazing!