NZ Day 5 - Franz Josef Glacier

Naomi VanDoren New Zealand Travel Day 5

We started our morning early, as always. Before packing up I spent some morning time sketching on the beach. The cliffs along this section are particularly unique and I've been trying to take any and all opportunities to capture what we've seen down on paper as well as through photographs.

Naomi VanDoren New Zealand Travel Day 5

Most of our day was spent driving down the coast. We wanted to be in Franz Josef to camp for the evening. We stopped several times along the way to take in the views, even found another random cave, open to the public, that we didn't go into. Almost all of the bridges here are one-lane only so you're sharing it with oncoming traffic. Signs before the bridge tell you who is to yield for whom. But this bridge (pictured below) was a first. Not only is it one lane but we're also sharing it with trains!

We've become quite fond of our little campervan. Anson heats water on the stove to make coffee for us before we head out. 

Naomi vandoren new zealand travel day 5 franz josef glacier

The glacier has receded quite a bit since that last time I was here as a kid in the early 2000's. A marker in the nearby historical church said that it was out to this point where we're parked in 90's. It's amazing that a glacier can move so dramatically.

The walk up to the base of the glacier was fairly flat and only got hilly towards the end when we were walking over the rubble of rock left behind. In some parts you could see ice melting which made me realize that we've also been walking on frozen ice too. Unfortunately when we got to the end we found that the last section of path was roped off that would take you to the base. My last photo here is the closest we got. We're adding this to our list of "things to do next trip".