On the way to the Westland National Park with its 60 glaciers we passed Punakaiki with funny looking pancake rocks and blowholes. We stopped at the Franz Josef Glacier and did a helicopter-glacier tour.
With the helicopter they flew us on the glacier and with ice crampons we walked through holes, caves and cracks on the ice. It was just fascinating. After 3 hours on the glacier – it was sunny and 5 degree Celsius - the helicopter picked us up and brought us back to the village.
It is just amazing that the glacier goes all the way down to thick forest terrain.
Since we had perfect weather we drove to Lake Matheson which is a perfect reflector pool for the surrounding glaciers. So we could see the Mount Cook and Mount Tasman beautifully in the lake. Great fun for taking pictures.
In the evening we relaxed in open air hot pools which where included in our heli-glacier tour. Temperature outside was 0 degree Celsius and in the water we had 40 degree Celsius. Embedded in a lush forest garden, covered with canopy we felt in heaven. Since we do a lot of freedom camping we haven’t had a shower in a little while. No worries, we wash ourselves every day.
Before we drive on to Queenstown we got a glimpse on the Fox Glacier. We took two German girls with us, since they tried to hitchhike already before we started our trek at the glacier.