With the Haast Pass behind us, we had officially made it to the west coast of NZ – also known as glacier country! Before setting out on the crowded hike to the snout (aka front) of Fox Glacier, we tried to catch an early morning reflection of Mt. Tasman and Mt. Aoraki in the famed Lake Matheson. The looptrack around the lake offers some stellar viewpoints with stellar reflections – on calm, sunny days, of course. We happened to pass through on a drizzly morning, but we made the best of the less-than stellar conditions with some fun black and white shots!
From the lake we journeyed up the road to Fox Glacier. First, we did a short walk on the Fox Glacier Valley Track. Due to substantial melting over the last few years, the snout has retreated past the original viewing platform. Luckily, the NZ Department of Conservation (DOC) had some innovative techniques and understanding of the rarity of this glacier; hence the creation of a track that allows people to see the glacier from a new viewpoint.
Satisfied, but craving a little more glacial action we decided to try out the Fox Glacier Chalet Track – a moderate hike that provided elevated views of the massive ice sheet. After 40-minutes of winding our way through the rainforest (yes, rainforest! NZ has 2 of the 3 glaciers in the world that flow to the sea and are surrounded by tropical rainforest habitat!) we were able to overlook all of Fox’s WOLOness from a distance! Totally worth the climb!
Next stop: Franz Josef Glacier
Song lyrics: Jordin Sparks “One Step at a Time”
– Go. Change your state of mind.