FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER DAY TRIP FROM GREYMOUTH
A day of discovery: stunning glaciers, mirror lakes and mountain peaks
Departing from Greymouth at 7:30am we drive the spectacular West Coast Heritage Highway through a land of contrasts with its changing views of coastline, rainforest, mirror lakes and mountains.
Arrival at the Glaciers is around 10:00am. We stop for morning tea (own additional expense) and a browse around the glacier village before heading off to the glacier option you have chosen.
The Franz Josef Glacier or Ka Roemata-o-Hine-Hukatera
as the Maori call it, "The Tears of the Avalanche Girl
" creates movement in the land, caused by the upthrusting friction of the adjoining tectonic plate, which generates heat and forms hot springs among the ice and bush.
Walk to Glacier Option:
Sturdy footwear and a warm jacket is recommended.
Take a freedom walk on the Departmaent of Conservation trail to the glacier terminal face. This is the area where the front of the glacier finishes and is a massive ice cliff with a river coming out of the base of it. You can get within 100 meters of the glacier but you will not be able to go onto the ice as this requires a guide and special boots.
You can view the glacier from a distance after walking about ten minutes or continue on for another 35 minutes to walk right up to the glacier ice! This massive creaking, groaning river of ice is one of the few advancing glaciers in the world.
On your walk, you will learn about the amazing forces of nature at work here as you watch how the ice has carved out hanging valleys and formed kettle lakes.
We return to the village in the early afternoon where there is time to do some of the many additional activities that can be done at the glaciers. These are at your own additional expense.
Walk on the Glacier Option:
On arrival at the glaciers you will join a glacier ice guide for a half day experience actually on the ice at the bottom end of the glacier. Boots with nails for grip and an alpenstock (pointed walking stick) will be provided. We suggest you bring a high energy snack such as an energy bar with you.
Heli Hike Adventure:
On arrival at the glaciers, an amazing scenic flight by helicopter over the Southern Alps snow fields lands you at the top end of the glacier. On this option there is no walking to get on the ice as your flight lands right on top of it. The ice here is of a pristine bluish white with many ice caves and small lakes. Your glacier ice guide will take you on a 2 hour walk through this crystal wonderland. Your glacier experience concludes with a helicopter flight back to the village.
Those overnighting at the Glaciers are dropped off at their hotel while the rest of us return to Greymouth arriving at around 6:00pm. Time permitting we will stop at interest points on the way, just ask your driver if you have any places you would specially like to stop at.
PLUS...To make sure you really are getting good value, we will give you a voucher for discounts & free stuff at places around the West Coast. You can pick up an absolutely FREE Big Mac, FREE Email, FREE Goldpanning at Shantytown, a FREE Beer/wine, a FREE Dessert at a local restaurant with your meal, discount hostel beds & heaps of other stuff. Worth up to $428. Click here for more info on our West Coast Bonus Saver Pass.