The majestic mountain spine along New Zealand’s South Island is known as “The Southern Alps”; the Maori Ngai Tahu name for these mountains is “kā tiritiri o te moana”. For many locations around the South Island, you cannot avoid or ignore the sight of looming towers of rock and snow.
Between visits to the Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier, I’d been thinking about whether or not I should have a look at the mountains from above. It would be beautiful, but it also seemed very expensive. What to do, what to do … it sounds stupid writing it out now, but a unique opportunity had presented itself, and I knew I’d have deep regrets if I didn’t take it.
I bit the proverbial bullet and hopped onto a plane with Air Safaris for a 50-minute “The Grand Traverse” tour including aerial views of various glaciers, Horokoau (Mount Tasman), and Aoraki (Mount Cook).
Franz Josef Glacier Township, Waiho Loop, and Waiho River
Fox Glacier Township, Cook River (Weheka) to the Tasman Sea
Fox Glacier: terminal moraine
Midway up Fox Glacier
Fox Glacier: down from the neve
Neve at the top of Fox Glacier
South to Horokoau and Aoraki, at 3 km elevation
Left: Mount Tasman (Horokoau); right: Aoraki (Mount Cook)
South from Tasman Glacier (foreground) to Tasman River and Lake Pukaki (background)
Aoraki (Mount Cook): reach out and touch
Aoraki (Mount Cook): so close
Tasman Lake, Tasman River, beyond to Lake Pukaki
Aoraki (back left), Mount Tasman (back right), Grand Plateau & Hochstetter Glacier (foreground)
Malte Brun Range (left), Murchison Glacier (center)
Upper reaches of Murchison Glacier: Tasman Saddle (back left); Whymper Saddle (top center)
Godley River valley
Godley River: upper reach to Godley Glacier; fed also by Fitzgerald and Separation Streams
Lonely hut on a ledge
Transverse crevasses at the neve, Franz Josef Glacier
Looking down Franz Josef Glacier
Down to terminal moraine, river valley; see earlier post on Franz Josef Glacier
Transverse crossover and up along the medial moraine, Franz Josef Glacier
Last glance from the air, Franz Josef Glacier
Westward: Waiho River, Waiho Loop
Westward: Waiho River, Waiho Loop: out to the Tasman Sea
Eastward: Franz Josef Glacier township, Waiho River, Franz Josef Glacier
End of The Grand Traverse, Franz Josef Aerodrome
• The slow approach to Franz Josef Glacier
• The slow forest walk to Fox Glacier
• Lake Matheson and the southern Alps at sunset
• Swollen Waiho from heavy early-autumn rains washes away Waiho Bridge: NZ Herald, 26 Mar 2019.
I made the photos above on 21 July 2012. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-292. I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.