Franz Josef Travel Blog› entry 6 of 13 › view all entries
The day before we arrived, we signed up for a helicopter flight from the town of Franz Josef to actually land on the Franz Josef Glacier and get out and "play" on it. On the ride down to Franz Josef, the clouds and rain were rolling in and out. One minute it would look very doubtful that we would get this flight in and then it would be miraculously clear and sunny and then right back to dark and dreary. When we arrived it was looking kind of 50-50. We waited and showed up for our flight time, which was then suspended for another 2 hours. So we waited and came back again. It ended up being a no-go. Meanwhile some people were able to get their flight in during the clearing between dark clouds. It was probably best that we didn't make it both for safety and visibility reasons.
We did sort of make it to the glacier later in the day. We drove to a parking lot and took a short hike through a forest and out into a clearing where the glacier was visible, but barely. By this time it was raining heavily and fog was sitting in the valley where the glacier ends. I walked about halfway to the glacier, but I still couldn't get any good pictures and was just getting soaked.
That night we walked up a steep road into the rain forest looking for glowworms. If you stopped in the right spots along the side of the road, you could peer into the darkness of the trees and see many glowing glowworms. It was anywhere near as impressive as going to the glowworm grotto in Waitomo Caves later in the trip, but it was interesting that you could walk from you hotel and spot them somewhat out in the open.