Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers

The drive from Queenstown to the Glaciers was an all day journey filled with yet more stunning scenery.  We drove back up the hill to Wanaka, and then around Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka.  
Our new trip mascot at Lake Hawea
Our first stop was a short hike to see the Blue Pools near Makarora.  I thought the name blue pools was a bit of a misnomer, they were more amazingly bright turquoise pools.  There were quite a few people sitting in the sand enjoying the sun, but only a couple fools braved a dip in the chilly water.
Blue Pools
Amanda and Missy crossing one of the suspension bridges

Group shot at the Blue Pools
Our tourist pose
The next stop was at Fantail Falls, and then just down the road again at Thunder Creek Falls.  They were both gorgeous, though at that point we started to get a bit numb of gorgeous waterfalls!  I could never get enough of that turquoise water though.
Thundercreek Falls
We kept driving and eventually turned a corner to see a beautiful glacier in the distance.  We kept meandering along the side of the turquoise river, alternating between views of the green trees, blue water, and white glaciers.
View of Mt Brewster from the car
This is Phil's happy vacation face
When we hit the West Coast we stopped at Bruce Bay for a coffee and to let the sandflies have their afternoon tea on our legs.  Then we headed an hour farther North until we reached Fox Glacier.  After being in the car all day, we were happy to stretch our legs and take a short hike to the base of the glacier.  It was humbling to walk along the glacial valley and see all of the waterfalls, rocks, and then finally the glacier.
Fox Glacier
Fox Glacier
Fox Glacier
Blue Pools at the base of the glacier
We refuelled with dinner, and then we had just enough time to fit in one more walk before sunset.  We drove to Lake Matheson and took a short walk to the Jetty Viewpoint.  The lake is legendary for perfectly reflecting the nearby mountains off its surface.  The only catch was the water had to be perfectly still, and unfortunately there was a light breeze keeping the water rippling.  We laughed at all of the Europeans camped out at the viewpoint as the fog rolled in, ruining their view.  The joke was ultimately on us though.
Looking up at the glaciers from Lake Matheson
A partial reflection on the lake - and still an amazing scene
The following morning we had plans to take a helicopter up to Franz Joseph Glacier and do a three hour glacier hike.  Unfortunately the fog really set in the night before, and never quite cleared.  The tour company rescheduled our trip a couple hours later, so we wandered around the tiny town until it was time.  No luck though, so we ended up doing a hike to the base of Franz Joseph Glacier instead.
Franz Joseph Glacier, with just a hint of blue sky 
Sad to see how much it's changed in just a few years
Waterfalls down the canyon
The base of the glacier
When we got to the terminal point, we got a call from the tour company rescheduling our glacier climb for the following morning.  We were very excited that we'd finally have the chance to go.
Group Pic at Franz Joseph
Anita, Amanda, and Phil
The following morning it was even foggier than the previous day, so there was no chance of our going up in a helicopter that day either.  Unfortunately we had to move on towards Christchurch, so after a group pout we saddled up and headed North.
Sad that we couldn't go on our helicopter tour and glacier climb


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