Once we had said our goodbye's to Katie and Justin we headed into the Charlotte sounds as they are supposed to be stunning, also Matthew wanted to try and get some fishing done. It continued to rain all afternoon, all night and then the next morning, we figured that there wasn't much point hanging around the sounds as we couldn't see a thing, so we drove back through Havelock and headed to where there was sun. This was back on the west coast so we headed for the Glaciers.
It took us a couple od days of steady driving to reach the Franz Josef glacier and when we arrived the sun was shining, so we were very happy. We decided to do a walk to the glacier, this ended up been a lot shorter than we intended as the longer walks had been closed, but we did still get a decent view of it. We then spent the afternoon deciding on what we were going to do regarding hiking up the glacier.
The next morning we had intended on doing a Heli Hike to the top of the glacier. Unfortunately i woke up feeling quite rough with a bad cough and aching all over, not the best state to be in when hiking on ice, so instead we went on a scenic flight. We were really dissapointed not to be actually hiking on the ice, but this was the next best thing and it certainly was worth it, the great weather also helped.
We saw both the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers and Mount Cook up close. It was breathtaking, flying through the mountains and so close to them especially as there was so much snow on them. I have never seen snow as white or as think. The glaciers also looked amazing, with ice blue tunnels and strange formations on the top of the glacier. Its hard to put into words how amazing the flight was and it was well worth the money. The fact that we also got to see Mount Cook and Mount Tasma up close was a bonus too as the road to Mount cook was closed due to the weather. The photo's do give you a glimpse of what we saw, and some of them are fantastic, but they are nothing in comparison to the real thing. It gave me goose bumps been so close to the peaks of the mountains and the scenery all around was stunning. It has turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip.
That afternoon we drove to Fox Glacier and then it was to bed for me. The next morning i was feeling a little bit better so we went for a walk around Lake Matheson which on a good day is supposed to give reflective views of both Mt Cook and Mt Tasman, however all we could see was cloud. It was still a nice walk though and although it was cloudy we still had nice views.
That afternoon we started our drive to Milfors Sound, hoping the road was open this time and also hoping that the sunshine remained for a while longer.