new zealand’s frozen wonderland
What’s big, blue-grey in hue and has had a growth spurt of 70cm in one day? It’s New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier, or Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere as its known in Maori. Sally Everett explains why exploring this 12km (7.5 mile) long glacier is a very cool experience…
“With the unfamiliar icy white ground crunching as I walked, it took a while before I was prepared to trust my crampons to save me from sliding down Franz Josef Glacier. But with every step and word of encouragement from our local guide, my confidence increased and my focus turned to the incredible beauty of the stark frozen landscape.
The morning light danced on the sparkling surface and crevices were lit in a brilliant blue glow through the ice. There was a special stillness to the atmosphere and everything seemed so staggeringly clear and crisp. Our Intrepid journey had already taken me to picturesque places that I was sure couldn’t be bettered, such as cruising the Bay of Islands and seeing the amazing geysers and boiling mud pools in Rotorua, but walking on a glacier was a whole new experience!
That night we all excitedly talked about our ice-trekking expedition and thanks to the wonders of digital technology, we were instantly able to share our photos of the frozen wilderness and relive our adventure. The next 3 days we stayed in Queenstown and amidst the adrenaline-charged chatter about our fantastic kayaking, bungy-jumping and paragliding adventures, the talk continued about our amazing glacier walk. Now, almost a year later, I still can’t stop talking about that ‘cool’ trip highlight!”
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* photo by Claire Jackson – Intrepid Photography Competition