Here's a map to give you an idea of where we are. We are on the South Island of New Zealand.
Yesterday we travelled from Churchtown up to Franz Josef. We have also been out to the Tasman Sea via Milford Sound.
We had booked the helicopter ride to see the glacier yesterday afternoon. We splurged and went for the total package. The resort got us a discount.
We walked out in the rain and had a quick breakfast at The Landing. It was lightly raining out but we could see there was a lot of cloud cover.
We check in at the helicopter place and are told that the weather is not cooperating, but we can probably do a twenty minute flyover but no snow landings, we decide to do whatever they can provide, It is the reason we are here.
How humiliating, you have to get weighed on this scale. And I had put on so many layers for the damp and cold!
It is determined that we can take off and we walk over with a guide, who happens to be Irish from Sligo, so we are all set.
I get the front seat with the pilot and John and another man are behind us.
Photos were taken from the helicopter and I have not photoshopped them even though I should but it takes time! Also it really was a grey and overcast day with rain.
Together with the Fox Glacier 20 km (12 mi) to the south, it is unique in descending from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level, amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest.
The area surrounding the two glaciers is part of Te Wahipounamu, a World Heritage Site park. The river emerging from the glacier terminal of Franz Josef is known as the Waiho River
The glacier is currently 12 km (7.5 mi) long and terminates 19 km (12 mi) from the Tasman Sea. Fed by a 20-square-kilometre (7.7 sq mi) large snowfield at high altitude, it exhibits a cyclic pattern of advance and retreat, driven by differences between the volume of meltwater at the foot of the glacier and volume of snowfall feeding the névé.
So now we have the day to wander around town It is still raining slightly.
Time for coffee. And some shopping. No, nothing was bought, just poking around.
Don't worry, I got each of you one of these.
We decided to get bread, cheese and wine for dinner as we would go out for lunch.
Some sights around town.
Outside the West Coast Wildlife Centre. We debated the $35 entrance fee, but couldn't really see the value.
We pick up some cheeses and breads for dinner as we decide we will go out for a good lunch. Back to the resort for a while and it continues to rain.
Lunch and a lazy rainy afternoon.
We walked to the Alice May pub which has an interesting history.
Alice May's family were relatively poor and strongly religious. Alice May worked from the age of 14 in domestic service and once she turned 20, she worked as a pantry maid / waitress in a hotel in Napier.
Alice May fell pregnant but after the baby was stillborn her lover rejected her not withstanding his earlier promise to marry her. After an altercation Alice May drew a revolver from her rain coat pocket and shot her lover 4 times before turning the gun unscessfully upon herself. Alice May was tried and sentenced to hard labour for the rest of her natural life by the New Zealand Chief Justice.
The Feminists of the socialist movement quickly formed a release committee for Alice May and gained widespread and popular support. Alice May became a household name with public meetings being held in Auckland and Wellington and two major petitions circulated New Zealand requesting her release from jail in 1915, 60,000 people signed the petition.
Finally after serving 6 years in prison Alice May was released in 1921 into the care of her mother.
Subsequently Alice May Married Charles O'Loughlin and together they went on to have 6 children. Jennie O'Loughlin is one of Alice May's Many grandchildren.
Fish and chips