Explore the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand!

by on Friday, 2 March 2012

ISV group on Franz Josef Glacier (c) used with permission by ISV

A highlight of the NZ adventure tour – Optional Activity Package is visiting the small town of Franz Josef on the rugged West Coast of the South Island, and the star attraction, the Franz Josef Glacier.

Here you will experience spectacular scenery, hike deep into the heart of the Franz Josef Glacier and feel like an early explorer!

The Franz Josef Glacier Guides will have you fitted in hiking boots, crampons, icepick, raincoats, warm stuff if you need it, and a hiking/explorers pole! (Optional).

Get ready for a full day of action, come rain or sunshine! Your day starts with a safety brief followed by a bus ride 5 minutes down the road to the start of your hike. The guides will take you through regenerating temperate rainforest, along the glacial valley floor and teach you all the best info about the area including the Maori legend of Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere – The Tears of the Avalanche Girl. Then strap on your crampons (spikes attached to your shoes to make it easy to walk on ice) and head up onto the glacier.

Exploring Franz Josef Glacier, (c) used with permission by ISV

You’ll spend the next 5 hours on the ice, squeezing through tight blue crevasses, sliding through ice caves and drinking fresh water straight from the glacier!

Don’t worry if you have never done this type of activity before, the guides are experts at cutting steps and making the most challenging glacier terrain achievable for everyone.

What is it exactly is a glacier? In Layman’s terms, it is a huge river of ice moving slowly downhill from the top of a mountain. They form above the permanent snow line, where snow fall builds up and compacts to form glacier ice. Gravity will eventually force the huge volume of ice downhill, and so a glacier is born! As global temperatures rise there is a global trend of glacial retreat.  Some glaciers have disappeared altogether. Currently the Franz Josef Glacier is retreating.

Sign up for the OAP, take advantage of the exceptional discounts that ISV receives and passes on to you and don’t miss out on this incredible day on the ice!

Nikki Cameron

ISV New Zealand Country Coordinator

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