Destinations: New Zealand

Go west to the wild coast

Wild West Coast

I’m snaking my body into a skinny fissure in a translucent blue mountain of ice. There are tonnes of the stuff above, below and all around. The light inside the ice cave is eerie blue and beautiful but my pulse rate only returns to normal when I’m out the other side with sky above.

It’s another world up there, high on creeping, creaking Franz Josef Glacier. Squeezing through ice caves and crevasses is thrilling as is inching between just-frozen lakes and ice cliffs and climbing steps cut into near vertical walls of ice. Franz Josef Guides offer half day and full day walks and I choose the full day to get high up the glacier, into the pristine blue and white ice, far above its dusty pebble-filled lower face.

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