THE GLACIERS and towns
The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are a delight to behold. A brutal and relentless ’nature at work’ and live. The Glaciers have forever in New Zealand been one of the foremost tourist attractions. Valid today as much as 100 years ago.
For reasons that are associated with a warming of the planet the glaciers are receding, except over the last few years the receding has stalled, and the Franz Josef has had some small growth. The rapid recession since 1750 has certainly slowed.
The Fox Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world, with its terminal face an easy walk from Fox Glacier village. Fox Glacier is a major tourist attraction and about 1000 people daily visit it during high tourist season.
Franz Joseph Glacier together with the Fox Glacier 20 km to the south is unique in the fact that it descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres above sea level amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest.
The glacier was later named after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria by the German explorer, Julius von Haast in 1865.
The Franz Josef Glacier having ostensibly retreated several kilometres between the 1940s and 1980s, the glacier has entered an advancing phase since 1984 and at times has advanced at the phenomenal (by glacial standards) rate of 70 cm a day. The flow rate is about 10 times that of typical glaciers.
The observation by the writer is nothing much has changed since we last viewed the glaciers 20 years ago.
Now the photos:-