New Zealand - Day 6

The different forces of Nature

We woke up to a clear sky and a beautiful view which meant the chances of going up into the glacier were looking good. Chris, Joe, Anthony and I headed into town to get some breakfast and to bring coffee back to the others in the group. The boys smelled Bacon so we ended up going to the cafe where the smell was coming too. Breakfast was good and we had a view out over the snowcapped mountains. After a bit we returned to the house with coffee and a hot chocolate to get the others up and ready. We did a very quick pack and hopped into the car to drive back to Mt Cook.

Driving back this morning was like driving to a different place. The sun was out and there was no cloud anywhere to be seen. We could see the tops of the mountains covered in the snow that had fallen the day before. We were actually really thrilled that we got to come back and see it like this.

We arrived at Mt Cook Airport in great time and were quickly upstairs and getting organised with our lovely friend Lana from yesterday. Alpine guides are lucky to have her working their as she is amazing. We all put out boots on, checked our crampons and had a safety briefing about what to expect up on the mountain. Our group was separated into 2 groups and Chris, Rob, Joe and Tom were on the first helicopter. Excited we watched them take off and then waited for the helicopter to return.

Finally it was our turn as we went out to the helicopter. I didn’t realise how much wind a helicopter kicks off but it was impressive. We boarded the helicopter, put our headphones on and off we went. I took a video of the trip on the helicopter so you can see what it looked like. The views were incredible, we flew through the mountains and over the Tasman lake and the glacier. The bottom of the glacier is so dirty as it picks up all the gravel as it moves along. It was an amazing helicopter ride. The helicopter landed somehow on the very tricky ice and jumped out of the helicopter. When you get out you have to quickly crouch down onto the snow and cover your eyes because the ice goes flying when the helicopter is going.

THis link is for the helicopter video:

This link here shows the ice being thrown up :

Once the helicopter had taken off we had to put our crampons on. Crampons are the spiky things that attach to the bottom of your shoes to help you walk on ice. Once we were ready we joined up with the rest of our group and met Anna who would be our guide for the time we were on the glacier. The next 2 hours were amazing we trekked across the glacier and saw small holes with glacial water, huge ravines and rivers flowing through the ice. Anna kept making steps for us so the climbing was easier.

The highlight of the trip was climbing through the ice cave that has a river flowing through it. It was so clear and so beautiful. We also got to drink the glacial water too which was amazing. I can not explain how good this was so I am hoping my photos will at least demonstrate the beauty on the glacier.

We also got some photos up on high on the glacier before it was time to head back to the helicopter.

After that amazing experience we got back in the helicopter, thanked the lady and started our long journey to Christchuch. It was a 5 hour drive to Christchurch and not much happened. We arrived in late and the lady at the counter offered to do our washing which was amazing. We met up with friends of ours who gave us a tour around Christchurch. It is so sad to see how much of Christchurch is still not repaired although I loved the shopping strip made out of shipping containers. It was such a long day and it was very late when we got to bed. Flying to Wellington tomorrow.