Franz Josef Glacier

On day fifteen we left Lake Mahinapua in the morning, heading south and travelling inland to glacier region. We stopped at Petr Hlavacek’s gallery and spent some time chatting to him about his beautiful landscape images. We headed across to Franz Josef where we booked a heli-hike for the following day and walked up the valley to take a look at the glacier. That evening we camped next to Lake Mapourika and cooked steak on the beach as the sun went down, mentally preparing ourselves for the challenge ahead of us. We got up early for our heli-hike but were initially told it was too windy for the helicopter to land on the ice, however half an hour later we got the go ahead and put on our gear to start our ascent. Our guide plotted a path across the glacier, taking us through ice caves, weaving around 30 ft ice peaks and avoiding treacherous gullies running under the ice. We then spent the afternoon relaxing in the hot water pools in Franz Josef and congratulating ourselves on our bravery.