Day 124 on the Road
Hike to the Fox Glacier Terminal Face
Today we are doing Fox Glacier Valley Walk which is a free way to see the New Zealand glaciers!
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Today we are looking for blue jade stones and we’re also seeing the terminal face of a glacier.
Today is sadly the day we are leaving Fox Glacier but we are not leaving Fox Glacier without checking out the terminal face. It’s only a short drive away from the township that we can start the walk that will take us all the way right in front of that glacier. And the walk start literally right inside the massive valley. It’s super humbling how big it is. So the hike up to the terminal face of Fox Glacier is actually one of the most dangerous hikes in New Zealand. It’s not necessarily a hard hike as you can see but it’s an unpredictable one. The weather can change dramatically very quickly and the glacier can release some massive chunks of ice that will flood this whole valley completely. So we have to stick to the signs we have to be well prepared. And hopefully we’re going to have a great day out.
The Fox Glacier Valley Walk is actually a free way to see glacier here on the West Coast of New Zealand. And in this section of the walk we are walking over moraine debris which has been brought down from the top of the mountains by the Fox Glacier and right in the middle of this valley is the Fox River which is coming straight from the glacier carrying with it this rock flour which gives it this which gives it this really weird milky coloured water. I find rock flour really weird and it gives a very very distinct look to this whole river It contrasts very well with all the sides of the valley. It’s stunning. But we are quickly back on track making our way toward the terminal face of Fox Glacier. it’s a pretty easy walk to begin with and there is a lot of things to take pictures of notable a lot of waterfalls. Because it’s such a wet area of the country almost every single pan of rock features some kind of a waterfall. And Laura goes nuts. She’s taking thousands of pictures of all those waterfalls surrounding us. It’s a very much welcomed break at the rest of the track is actually really steep.
The fox glacier valley walk really has a way of making you feel so small. We are surrounded by these towering mountains while we’re pretty much walking on the valley bed right here. The environment here is ever changing and even the journey of the Fox Glacier goes through varying different landscapes itself starting from mountains which are over 3,000m and making their way all the way to the rainforest.
Laura and I are absolutely amazed by this very peculiar place and we really want to stop super often to take pictures but their are many sections of the trail which have massive signs saying no stopping due to the very recurrent rock fall. We wouldn’t want to be crushed by those many massive boulders.
And it’s through a lot of huffing and puffing that are tackling the last section of the trail. the last 200m of the trails are getting super steep and the rocks are even looser than they were before making the walk a really really big challenge. But once we arrive on top in front of the viewing platform we are absolutely mind blown.
Alright guys we’ve just made it to the closest point we can go to the glacier’s face. the view is staggering. It’s incredible to see the sharp bits of ice about to fall into the river. it was definitely worth the hike. this place is so amazing.
The walk has brought us within 500m of the Fox Glacier terminal face and there’s really a lot to see here especially the cascading waterfalls coming down the valley sides they are so mesmerising and so beautiful. And the terminal face itself is just jagged and looks really rough but super amazing to see.
Although we actually got the chance to walk on the glacier yesterday this walk actually gives us an amazing perspective of the glacier and what’s more it’s free to do so we cannot complain.
If you guys haven’t noticed just yet, I am a huge fan of one way walks. it gives us a superb opportunity to check out the place in a complete different angle, I really love the fact that it gives us the chance to actually check out the stuff that we were like oh yeah shoot we should have stopped here and taken a picture of it and that is exactly what we are doing and we are walking our way down toward the campervan because we still have a lot of things planned today.
Some locals have told us that on our way toward the little township of Haast where we’re going to be spending the night, there is a beach called Hunts Beach where we are able to find some blue pounamu which are a blue version of the very famous local greenstone.
As soon as we arrive in Hunts Beach Laura gets out the car are starts running toward the beach armed with all the tips that Steve from the bone carving shop gave her on how to find greenstone in New Zealand.
Who cares about greenstone or bluestone when you have got an actual piece of the glacier right here. How cool is that? It’s so perfectly white.
We then start to realise why greenstone is so valuable it is actually really hard to find on the beach and there’s quite a lot of green coloured stones.
This could be greenstone. Maybe maybe not.
Laura has found quite a lot of stones and a lot of them which are kind of greenish and could actually be potential greenstone which is quite surprising. She even did find a stone which is kind of toffee looking like and I’m pretty sure if she starts biting in it it’s going to break her teeth faster than sugar would rot her teeth if it was real toffee.
And now it’s time for us to hit the road for our final destination for today which is the little town of Haast. But the drive along the way is absolutely stunning as we are driving through wilderness rainforest and we can really why they call the West Coast the Wild West Coast right here.
So we’re going on the Waiatoto River into a world heritage area that is world heritage not national park but world heritage area… it’s world heritage area. it’s not national park. It’s the world, it’s the world it’s like international scale of beauty and amazing scenery so that’s where we’re heading tomorrow and that’s what we’re gonna do. So join us then fools.