It was a windy rainy day when we left Murahau. I couldn’t see anything outside from the bus, I could only tell we were driving along the coast. Sometimes I saw glimpses of big ocean waves crashing down the shores. We made a short stop at Punkaiki, famous for its pancake rocks formation.
Several huge blowholes along the way. The water comes up really high at high tide.
The layers of the rock are stacked just like pancakes.
A rainbow shows up every few minutes.
After a satisfying photo stop, we continued to Franz Josef. I went to the tour office to book a morning glacier heli hike. The town is very small but is touristy and it has many restaurants nearby. The backdrop of the town is none but the glacier mountain itself.
The tour is a 3.5 hours guide hike with a quick 5 minutes ride on a helicopter to get up to the glacier. They gave me warm overall, gloves and hats as it is supposed to be freezing up there. They also gave me crampon so I can walk on the ice.
Our tour guide only wear shorts and t-shirt. The backpack he carried must have weighed a ton as it contains all the emergency supplies for 12 people in case we got stranded up there.
Off we went. I was so lucky to get the front seat next to the pilot. Amazing view from the top.
Can you spot lines of people from the picture below?
It was awe-inspiring walking on the top of the glacier. I felt so thankful to be alive and to have a chance to witness the beauty of nature.
Our tour guide uses his axe to crack the ice so it won’t be slippery for us.
Sometimes we had to walk side way in order to pass ice crevices. Look how blue the ice is!
Our tour guide looked to see how we were doing. Of course we slowed down to take selfies.
Time to fly back.
Glacial hiking was definitely an unforgettable experience for me. Although I have to say that given the number of tourists they took up there at a time, it sometimes felt like a tourist trap. But it was so worth it to be so close to nature.