Glacier Heli Hike at Franz Josef

It was a windy rainy day when we left Murahau. I couldn’t see anything outside from the bus, I could only tell we were driving along the coast. Sometimes I saw glimpses of big ocean waves crashing down the shores. We made a short stop at Punkaiki, famous for its pancake rocks formation.

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Several huge blowholes along the way. The water comes up really high at high tide.

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The layers of the rock are stacked just like pancakes.

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A rainbow shows up every few minutes.

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After a satisfying photo stop, we continued to Franz Josef. I went to the tour office to book a morning glacier heli hike. The town is very small but is touristy and it has many restaurants nearby. The backdrop of the town is none but the glacier mountain itself.

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The tour is a 3.5 hours guide hike with a quick 5 minutes ride on a helicopter to get up to the glacier. They gave me warm overall, gloves and hats as it is supposed to be freezing up there. They also gave me crampon so I can walk on the ice.

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Our tour guide only wear shorts and t-shirt. The backpack he carried must have weighed a ton as it contains all the emergency supplies for 12 people in case we got stranded up there.

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Off we went. I was so lucky to get the front seat next to the pilot. Amazing view from the top.

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Can you spot lines of people from the picture below?

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It was awe-inspiring walking on the top of the glacier. I felt so thankful to be alive and to have a chance to witness the beauty of nature.

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Our tour guide uses his axe to crack the ice so it won’t be slippery for us.

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Sometimes we had to walk side way in order to pass ice crevices. Look how blue the ice is!

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Our tour guide looked to see how we were doing. Of course we slowed down to take selfies.

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Time to fly back.

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Glacial hiking was definitely an unforgettable experience for me. Although I have to say that given the number of tourists they took up there at a time, it sometimes felt like a tourist trap. But it was so worth it to be so close to nature.

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