Our first adventure after enjoying a few days in Queenstown was a drive to Mount Cook to see the famous Tasman glacier.
We’d noticed the day prior that it was getting REALLY windy as we were exploring the area. Someone in a shop mentioned something about a cold front coming through the next day, hence the wind.
We didn’t think much about it. We woke up in the morning and started getting ready when I opened the curtains and noticed some snow flurries.
It’s spring in NZ.
I put on the tv and the local news said that a lot of roads would be closing as well as the airport.
I was thinking: These people are really exaggerating….it’s just a few flurries.
Again, I’m a Florida native, so I know winter weather.
By the time we were dressed and we ate our breakfast, it was FULL-ON WINTER.
I don’t have any photos of the full-ON winter because I was FULL-on driving on the left side of the road in the right side of the car while it’s FULL-ON snowing.
It was at least 3 /12 hours before we arrived in clearer weather.
I was stressed to say the least; both hands on the wheel the entire time. My body so tense it would take at least 3 glasses of wine and a full body massage to get back to my normal.
We were about an hour short of our destination when we the weather cleared up and we found a spot to stop, stretch our legs and thank the good Lord that we made it through the snow storm.
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we came around a corner and saw this huge BLUE lake; we had to stop and take it in.
After about 10 minutes we were back in the car towards our destination: Mount Cook.
We didn’t know what to expect at a hotel that was located in a national park, but we loved our quaint little bungalow.
It was really overcast and dreary again by the time we arrived at our room, then the sun went down. The next morning we opened the curtains and were able to see the view from our window.
It was a beautiful, clear and crisp morning and we were ready for our glacier tour.
We were driven to a national park, and had about a mile walk till we reached the boating area.
We were so happy for clear skies!
They loaded us onto small boats/rafts that held about 15 people and we zipped around the lake and learned all about glaciers and icebergs.
How did I make it on this planet for 51 years and not realize that a glacier and an iceberg are two different things? Apparently, my Florida public school education didn’t focus on such things.
|mountains behind us
Behind us here is the Tasman Glacier. The huge lake we were boating on was once part of the glacier, but like everything else, it’s melting. In about 40 years, the (very large) glacier will most likely be gone.
We got up close and personal with an iceberg. Inside it are rocks, dirt, debris….whatever the glacier picked up from the earth as it formed. When the iceberg breaks off of the glacier, it floats around, melts and drops all the debris into the lake. Our tour guides said that every day (sometimes by the hour) the view of the icebergs changes as they melt and others come off the glacier.
It was a really cool (brrrr) learning experience and also a bit sad. This is proof that our ecology is changing at a really rapid pace and it appears that we’re not going to be able to halt it the way we (humans) live.
I skipped a great day on our wine tour on the Southern part of the South Island before we moved onto Mt. Cook, but I’m going to combine it with our wine tour of the Marlborough region.