19 February 2018
Another 100 miles down Route 6 from Hokitika Gorge we arrived at Franz Josef Glacier (above). Originally we intended to take a short walk to the lookout but once we were there we could not help but walk to the end of the trail. It didn’t hurt that once again we got lucky and the rain broke to allow us to enjoy stretching our legs for awhile. The glacier is an extremely popular sight. We were surprised at the number of visitors. It reminded me of Bear Glacier outside Stewart in British Columbia, Canada with one exception, at Bear Glacier I was the only person in sight.
Waterfalls on the trail to Franz Josef Glacier
Fox Glacier is a short drive south of Franz Josef. We were excited to see another however Fox experience was less exciting. The drive up to the car park is passable for most cars and trucks but not appropriate for buses and campervans. The River Walk Trail was closed due to weather so with a short stroll we only got a distant view.
Fox Glacier below the mist
Another popular stop in the Town of Fox Glacier is Lake Matheson. The walking trails include a circuit around the entire lake. If you are lucky it provides a view of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman reflecting in the placid lake surface. We weren’t that lucky. The weather was cloudy and rainy with impending landfall of Cyclone Gita. We stayed the night in a cabin near the lake.
Lake Matheson with Mount Cook and Mount Tasman as we hoped to see it (left) and how we saw it (right)