We we are 2.5 days into our New Zealand holiday and so far we are having a great time. We arrived into Christchurch on Saturday afternoon, but by the time we got to our hotel we were totally wiped and spent the afternoon napping and ordering room service and watching bad movies and napping some more. Sunday morning we were up bright and early – since we slept so much the night before – so we spent the morning exploring the city before heading out of town and driving through to Greymouth. The scenery from Christchurch – Greymouth is just spectacular, especially this time of year with so much snow… incredible! Last night we stayed in Greymouth, in a lodge with a great view of the Tasman and ate dinner at a beautiful warm lodge filled with lovely country folk and serving delicious winter meals.

This morning we got up bright and early and made our way to Franz Josef. We grabbed some lunch in town before doing a 2 hour hike to the glacier. The first part of the walk is through rainforest, then you find yourself walking through this dry river bed, filled with glacial dust and massive rocks and tiny pebbles and little creeks meandering along (and some not so little, which require some jumping or scrambling to get across/through). There are giant lush misty mountains towering over you on either side of the river bed, dense with trees and cascading waterfalls.. the whole thing is so surreal and achingly beautiful. All the way along you can see the Glacier as you approach. From a distance it doesn’t look all that impressive, but there is just no way to describe it as you get in close and realise just how big this thing is.. it does more than tower over you, it is immense and incredible. So fragile and so impenetrable at the same time. You can’t get too close because the glacier moves up to a metre each day with huge chunks of rock and ice falling throughout the day.. we saw one piece, so tiny in comparison to the glacier, but the size of ten people, crack off the top and tumble into the depths.. it was awe inspiring.

A great day, made more so because seeing the glacier means that I am able to cross another thing off my 101/1001 list (yay).

Before I go ahead and do that though, here are some photos, not just of the glacier but of our whole trip so far: