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Glacier from ground and from air

Added: April 18, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW glacier mountains photos waterfalls
It is fantastic to live through our trip for the third time. The first time was when we were there, the 2nd time while I was processing photos and now for the 3rd time when I am writing this post. Our experiences from Franz Josef Glacier fully deserve to repeat them for the 3rd time. BTW while I am editing this post I am processing photos from Bolivia (Uyuni) on background making this post travelling flashbacks even more fun.

We had helicopter flight and we were also walking on glacier for a half day. I usually show all photos in one page, because I think some "quick scanners" would miss a link to the 2nd page, but there are too many photos here so the split is necessary.

Glaciers from a helicopter

We had our flight with these guys. When we arrived (on time) we were told strong wind does not allow for flights to Mt Cook, but shorter and cheaper flights are still available. "Are you happy with that guys?" asked an operator. "Why not? We really want this flight and we even make some money this way. It's no brainer." were my thoughts.


A helipad operator took us to the place, it was just across the road and through short path in bush. We got Health & Safety instructions and then we waited there guessing which helicopter in distance is ours. It was the third one.

Are we going to see anything? Are those clouds problem for our flight?

Ah, it's our turn!

Hey, that's even more confusing than my phone!

Ready to take off

We climbed inside, fortunately nobody raised hands into propeller or lost their hat. I got privilege to sit at front row having nice view. Peter and Zuzka were in the back.

Helicopter started to hum, then vibrate and slowly it raised. It was strange feeling, I did not expect it will shake so much. But we were in our helicopter heading to mountains and Franz Josef glacier. Let's worry about reflections in the windows and how to prevent them.

The pilot took us unbelievably close to mountain ridges, something we would miss if we flew in a plane. We just raised above the ridge and passed it. Wonderful feeling. I should start to set apart some money and to buy my own flying toy one day! Zuzka would not be against :-)





Snow and glacier came to our view. We are getting closer and I could relax finally - there were not many clouds around, we passed them and those ahead are behind mountains. It was clear now we are going to have wonderful views.

The glacier was slowly flowing beneath us (pun intended), crevasses clearly visible. They were wonderful. It is hard to believe from distance (of chair in warm home ;-) ) the glaciers are so complicated thanks to movements, melting and freezing. Not to mention hidden rivers flowing inside. As we approached the top, crevasses were less prominent until they were replaced with continuous and perfect snow plain.

The first glimpse of Franz Josef Glacier.
Franz Josef Glacier

The foot of glacier.
Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier

The most beautiful thing on glaciers is blue ice.
Blue ice at Franz Josef Glacier





Cabin crew, landing position

And then we landed. It felt like stepping out on new planet for the first time :-) 15 minutes ago we were enjoying our holidays in tropical region and now we are in kingdom of snow.

We were standing on unspoilt white snow plane, rocky peaks around us, blue sky with nice clouds above. Amazing! We took photos of surroundings and then the pilot took photos of us (that have never happened to us with other airliner).





Don't forget to look at the 2nd page, showing our ground adventure with glacier. The link follows, but it is easy to overlook. I would not be happy you missed it, because I like it a lot.