When we stayed at Fox Glacier, we decided to do a guided tour of the lower part of the glacier. After having walked up to the ice field on the marked path on our own, we were keen to get a little closer to the action, so we joined a group and went back.

However, when we had just reached the end of the public area, we were told that we can’t move any further as rocks and chunks of ice have been falling down very close to the path we wanted to chose. The clouds were getting thicker and it started to rain, so after admiring the scenery, the river and some floating ice we started our return. The rain was getting heavy, and soon we were all soaking wet. Also, the little stream we crossed on our way to the glacier had become a rather large, torrential river that seems impossible to cross. With our guide and many other groups we waited it out for a bit, but then they decided to form a chain and help us through the freezing water to get everyone back to town. And so we stood in line for our turn to hike knee-deep through a glacial river….

After a hot shower and some warm soup we drove some miles through the thick rain forest and enjoyed a really beautiful evening on a nearby beach with spectacular views of the thundering waves of the Tasman Sea in front and the towering Southern Alps behind us.