The Glacier Country is truly a unique region in New Zealand. There are many options to see these incredible glaciers, but unfortunately most of them, such as hiking inside the glaciers, are not meant for children younger than 12 years of age. A few of the activities allowed slightly younger children with the minimum age of 8. Alas, we felt a bit stuck on how to enjoy the glaciers but decided on hiking as far as we could to the terminal end.
In the morning, it seemed the weather had its own plans for us. We woke up to a lot of rain and fog as we drove towards Fox Glacier. At the visitor center in Fox Glacier, we tried one more time to see if we can find something slightly more interesting than just seeing the terminal end, and we were told that because of the rain we could not even hike that far! Hmmm...What to do now?!
We had heard that Lake Matheson is an incredible sight and on a clear day, obviously not today, you would be able to see the reflections of the mountains. We spent some time inside the motorhome as we hoped for the rain to pass. Once we saw that the clouds were more stubborn than us, we decided to give up on seeing any sort of reflection and just go on a short hike around the lake.
Originally, we only meant to walk to the Jetty Lookout poin,t but I think the universe had different plans for us in store. Either there was no sign to tell us we had arrived at the Jetty lookout or we totally missed it. By the time we realized we had been walking for quite sometime, we were already halfway around the lake! The hike is so beautiful and I am so glad a little rain and fog didn't keep us away.
It rained on and off for the rest of the day, and we finally figured out where we were going to spend our buffer day, Glacier Country! But we said our good-byes to Fox Glacier and headed towards Franz Josef, hoping that tomorrow we would be able to hike towards the Franz Josef Glacier and see its terminal end.
Glacier Country Campervan Park
Again, the choices for staying at a free/DOC site were practically non-existent. We ended up staying at Glacier Country Campervan Park in Franz Josef, and wouldn't you know it, the owner suggested a helicopter ride to the top of the glacier that would have no issues with taking young children. We were also given a very nice discount by the holiday park and were told that since the kids were small they could just sit on our laps for free! Hurrah! We got to pay just for 2 people and kept our fingers crossed for a nice, sunny day to ensue.
In the meantime, Kian and Hannah had a blast in the campervan with all their art stuff. Kian decided to help Hannah as she decided to draw a picture of Elmer, like Kian had done the night before, for Elmer to take back to the North Pole. Kian also had fun drawing our whole family enjoying the big adventure as we chase summer around the world!
Will the sun come out tomorrow for our very first helicopter ride?! Strangely enough I am not at all nervous about it and I really thought I might be.
Elmer the Elf Update
Elmer surprises us more and more each day! He must have really liked the drawing that Kian made for him because this morning we woke up to a great picture of Kian drawn by Elmer the Elf! We have gotten ourselves one very good Elf!