This morning we woke up to a bit of blue sky but a lot of cloud. We had a helicopter flight booked for midday, taking us over to the two glaciers but we had a bit of time to kill so we went for a drive around Fox Glacier township. We saw a sign to the lookout so we went there first.
There are some fairly spectacular cloud formations over the glacier here.
After viewing from the far away lookout, we decided we still had plenty of time so we went for a drive to the actual glacier, where you can do a bit of a walk and come out next to it. Amazingly, the road looked like this - total sub-tropical rainforest. Freaky.
After walking for about 20 minutes we came out on this lookout. It was sort of misty and the sun was shining so there's a bit of haze.
This glacier has been advancing since 1985, unlike the Franz Josef glacier which has been retreating for 250 years.
These photos can't begin to describe the amazing size of these things. They are just enormous. And incredible.
We went back to town to the helicopter office but the weather had gotten a lot worse so our flight was cancelled. It was really disappointing. They offered us a refund but it's not the same as flying over the glaciers and landing on one!
So we got in the car and headed off to Queenstown. It's a long drive, over five hours, through some spectacular scenery. We drove through national parks with amazing forests and waterfalls, then got to the drier region near Queenstown and passed massive gorges with rivers thundering along at the bottom, but not many trees on the hills. We stopped in Wanaka on the way, which was very pretty, and carried on to Queenstown. We stayed at the Sofitel, which was just gorgeous, particularly since we had a room looking over the lake.