‘On top of the Franz Joseph Glacier’
First explored by a chap called Julius Haast way back in 1865, the Glacier has most of the time been retreating back up the valley. The glaciers are form because the west coast is very wet, it rains an awful lot. The rain is pushed up the mountain where it falls as snow and compresses to form ice at a depth of 20m.
‘A good view at the top’
Because the valley is so steep the rate the glacier moves is incredible, sometimes up to 5m a day. In 1943 a plane crashed on the top of the glacier, 6 1/2 years later the wreckage was ejected at the bottom. So it you drop your watch on top, come back 7 years later and pick it up again.
A good way to see the glaciers is by helicopter, there are numerous packages on offer by many companies. Just look around the village. Some take you up and you walk back some fly you up and you fly back after a brief stop at the top. All of which are great fun.