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Lake Matheson and Franz Josef Heli hike

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Lake Matheson and Franz Josef Heli hike

Hello community.

We're heading to New Zealand in August and we're going to spend 3 nights in Fox and Franz Josef.

The plan is to drive from Wanaka on Saturday August 2nd and rest for the night in Fox.

The next day (Sunday August 3rd) we're planning on a Fox Glacier tour. I got an email saying the Nimble Fox (full day walk) is suspended. If we can't go on that one, I guess we'll settle for the half day one. The half day walk starts at 8:35am. Then head to lake Matheson for the sunset for either the short walk or around the lake walk (suggestion?).

Monday August 4th - that's when it gets tricky and that's the main reason for this thread.

As avid photographers and explorers in general, we can't miss the sunrise at the lake. So the plan is to wake up early and head to the lake asap.

The thing is, we would like to go on the heli tour in Franz Josef in the morning... which starts at 10:15am.

So the question is: do we have time to take pictures with decent light in the morning and get to Franz Josef before 10:15am? And do we have time to do the all around the lake walk or should we just stick to the Jetty? And is it worth it (as is, there are much different opportunities for shots than just staying and the Jetty viewpoint?).

The sunrises around 7:30am and the drive seems to be 20 to 30 minutes to FJ.

What does the community say?

Thank you so much.

Ricardo + Nicole

Adelaide, Australia
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11. Re: Lake Matheson and Franz Josef Heli hike

The ducks add to the beauty of the picture. :) Beautiful photograph.

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12. Re: Lake Matheson and Franz Josef Heli hike

Yes, Reflection Island is the best spot to take pics from. Take the path to the right at the start of the walk rather than the left to get to it a little quicker. With good headlamps and maybe a hand torch (flashlight) you will be fine walking around in the dark but watch where you are walking because there are steps up and down in places and some parts of the track are a bit steep.

The reason the Nimble Fox tours have been suspended is due to all the recent very high rainfall. Much of the terminal faces of both Fox and Franz Glaciers have lost big chunks of ice rendering them unstable and dangerous.

The Fox half day walk offers a commentary that explains how the glaciers formed and places of geological interest are pointed out. You also get to go on the ice, albeit for just a short time. Whether this is good value to you as opposed to taking yourself to the public viewing point is up to you to decide. If you are doing a heli hike then this latter option should be sufficient.

As to which glacier is the best one to heli hike on I have been told by someone who knows that FJ is currently the better one.

13. Re: Lake Matheson and Franz Josef Heli hike

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Removed on: 13 June 2015, 05:17