THE ETERNAL ARGUMENT OF FOX AND FRANZ JOSEF GLACIERS, WHICH IS BETTER? There are of course a million answers to that question, but my advice is, if you want to save money but long for a incredible experience, take a Fox trip that you’ll never forget. To be fair, both are worth your time. Franz Josef is larger, it’s town has more shops, but it can be expensive because the only way to be on ice is via a heli-hike. Fox on the other hand is more accessible, can be done via a half day hike, but there is nothing much to do in town.
Whichever glacier you choose, the experience of being so close to these gigantic structures of nature is both inspiring and humbling. We chose the Foxtrot Hike offered by the Fox Glacier Guides, a half-day trip just to have a taste of being on the ice. After a short introductory talk, visitors take a short bus ride to the entrance of the hikes. You can only walk on ice with a guide, so if you are not paying for it, don’t think of stepping on it.
Our guide is very friendly, and gave us an informative walk through of this geological wonder. It feels much cooler when walking on ice, but I think that most of the paths are muddy and hence lack the “winter wonderland” feel. Anyways, I appreciate the glaciers more when I got to know how it was formed, which makes Mother Nature a true artist.
Sword fighting in Fox
BACK IN FOX, LAKE MATHESON IS ANOTHER WELL KNOWN ATTRACTION. When the winds are calm, you can see the elegant reflection of both Mount Cook and Tasman on the lake. It is worth staying after sunset because the starry skies lit up the mountain ranges, creating a romantic and stunning silhouette. Throughout the day, the constant rumbling of the glaciers echo around town. I believe this to be a gentle reminder to us, of how magnificent and mighty nature can be.