A flight over Mount Cook.

Air Safari at Franz Josef

We were staying at Franz Josef in South Island and perhaps the highlight of our whole holiday was a flight with Air Safaris on their grand traverse of Aoraki Mount Cook and the glaciers. The aircraft was a nomad previously operated by the Australian flying doctor service. It was my first flight in a light aircraft. Would it be bumpy?. Would I be scared? Not a bit. I was just excited.

After take-off we headed south along the coast with a bird’s eye view of Westland bush country with the Tasman Sea to out right before turning inland towards the mountains.

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It was a fantastic experience flying round Mount Cook (3754 metres ) and Mount Tasman and over the 29 km Tasman Glacier.

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On the seaward side the air was clear but clouds built up over the landward side. This added more drama as we flew in and out of the cloud.

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Our return crossing was over the main divide to the vast snowfields and glaciers of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. It was amazing to look down onto the glaciers with their deep crevasses. We could see how the glaciers form in the ‘neve’ zone high in the mountains where the winter snows pile up and gradually compact into ice. Continued pressure, weight and gravity combine until the lower layers of ice are forced to flow out of the basin to form the glacier tongue that gouges and scrapes down the valley. We flew over several alpine lakes all with the beautiful turquoise colour caused by the ‘rock flour’ – finely ground particles of rock held in suspension in the melt water.

Here are some more of my images.

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All to soon it was over but it had been an unforgettable experience.

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About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Landscape, Memorable days, New Zealand, Photography, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A flight over Mount Cook.

  1. What gorgeous photos! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Doreen Thomas says:

    wonderful photos, Alan

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