It was a surreal, yet raw and brutal experience – being able to walk on a gigantic glacier shaped by the forces of nature. While the occasional rock falls sending down tonnes of rocks would echo loudly in the valley making us weary of our paths. It was brutally beautiful, that sheer wall of white and blue ice amongst an almost alien and colourless landscape. There were no human comforts to be found here.
Fox Glacier, on the stunningly rugged and beautiful South Island, New Zealand – is a 13km long ice glacier that is formed in the Southern Alps and ending near rainforests and the township, which serves as the gateway to exploring this natural wonder. The tours to the glacier are easily booked and can accommodate all levels of age and fitness – with helicopter tours and landing on the glacier naturally being the most expensive.
This is no place for ignorance and silliness, as safety is of the utmost importance to both visitors and tour guides. With the most recent deaths being in 2009 when 2 Australian tourists ignored warnings and safety barriers and were crushed by over 100 tonnes of ice falling. The glacier is constantly shifting and evolving so the danger and risk are assessed on a day by day basis.
If you ever land on South Island, it is worth making the drive here to visit Fox Glacier, I had done and seen many wondrous things in my life, and this has to be up there with the most memorable of them all.
P.S be careful with your cameras if they are not waterproof or weather sealed. Even my Canon 5D3 and lens were deemed highly weather sealed – albeit not as much as a 1D body – but they still got soaked enough from the constant rain over a few hours to exhibit error signs. However this was remedied by me placing it on the bed with an electric blanket to kill any moisture inside. But dont try this yourself!