Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lake Matheson Walk

After our amazeballs helicopter tour of Fox Glacier and Mt. Cook, Tim and I decided to take another look at the mountains, this time from a different perspective.  We heard the Lake Matheson walk had some beautiful mirror images of the mountains... 

Sadly, we were disappointed to see that the lake was not doing much reflecting that day.  But, honestly, after our crazy awesome helicopter flight, pretty much anything would have been somewhat disappointing.  But we had a nice walk anyway:

Lots of fun little things to see in this temperate rainforest, like colorful mushrooms:

Sky rat!  I mean... fancy pigeon.  In New Zealand they call these native pigeons kereru, kuku or kukupa... they're quite large, quite pretty, and not quite as annoying as American pigeons.  Apparently their fruit/seed dispersal is essential to regeneration of native forests.

Lots of cool looking berries:

As we looped around the lake, you could see the clouds our helicopter pilot mentioned making their way over the top of the mountains towards us... a bit ominous!:

Lots of spider webs with cool rain droplets:

And a big-ass spider... this thing was large and in-charge:

The clouds, they're coming!  We got back to the car just in time for the rain to start...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fox Glacier by Helicopter

When in New Zealand, Tim and I decided to treat ourselves (Treat. Yo. Self.) to a helicopter ride over and onto one of the south island's amazing glaciers: Fox Glacier.  Our flight would also take us on a spin past New Zealand's highest peak, Mt. Cook (remember we hiked Hooker Valley up to the base of Mt. Cook?).  Neither of us had ever been in a helicopter before, so we were super excited.  We were worried it wouldn't happen because of rainy weather, but our ride seemed destined when the clouds parted for just an hour in the morning, giving us amazingly sunny weather for our flight.

I apologize for the photo bomb of a post, but, dudes, it was so photo worthy!


Here's our sweet chariot, landing from a previous flight:

Tim sat shotgun on the way out and I did on the way back.  Sharesies.

Here we go!!!

Turns out helicopters are super loud, hence the headsets.  And the cheesy music in my videos (the sound on our videos was excruciating!):

We had a one-way conversation with our pilot, whose name escapes me... he explained things to us and we nodded our heads and marveled at the insane views:

Ahoy, unattractive selfie!

Omg, the views:

Thar be the glacier on the left... long!

Please excuse the reflections- hard to take photos inside the helicopter when it's so sunny!

Top of the world....

Pioneer Hut atop the glacier... can you imagine sleeping there?

 Cool texture:

It's like a postcard, non?

Just breathtaking... and a bit otherworldly.


Time to pose for photos.... I think our pilot was thinking we would do some funny/exciting/playful poses, but we were honestly in awe of our surroundings and didn't really step up our posing game:

 Check out that cloud... our pilot let us know a storm was acomin' (he was right):

The clouds were literally rolling over the edge of the mountain:

Heading back:

Tim got the backseat on the way back to the helipad:

Looking down the glacier towards the ocean:

Cool crevasses:

Waterfall from above:

Fox glacial river heading out towards the ocean: