Yeah, so, after all this effort getting to Fox Glacier, it was mostly for nothing. We had between almost rain, light rain, heavy rain, and "oh my god, someone is emptying an ocean over our heads" rain. At the same time very low clouds made it so that all helicopter flights were cancelled. As a result, our heli hike was rescheduled twice and cancelled twice (we were supposed to get dropped on the ice and hike around for 3h).
We took a shuttle bus to the trailhead and walked as far as was allowed, and a bit farther. We could have gotten a bit closer to the glacier with more time but we had no way to tell our shuttle driver to come back 30mn later with no cell phone coverage, so we didn't hike any farther to see the glacier a bit closer (without being able to get to it since access was not possible due to safety, flowing rivers, and terrain issues). Of course, this is mainly due to global warming making the glacier recede more and more each year.
they don't want you to try and hike to the glacier yourself
this is as far as we were supposed to go, and there was 0 view of the glacier
so I crossed the ropes and went towards the river and got a view of it at least
yeah, we should have gone up that trail if it weren't for the shuttle supposed to pick us up
but zooming out shows that I was a bit far from it still
on the plus side waterfalls were flowing
Next, we got dropped off to a nice little lake with forrest walk, under the rain still
not quite the view we got
beautiful pluffy wet bird :)
somehow the mountain reflection in the lake thing didn't quite work out
The afternoon weather was even better:
So yeah, all our efforts to get to Fox Glacier was not entirely for naught, but mostly for naught. Bummer. I'm so not looking to another 18H of bus to try this again later....
even later, a clear improvement
Ideally our itinerary should have had a day of buffer between our milford track hike in Queenstown that we couldn't move, and this, but it didn't so we had to leave for Queentown the next morning as the weather was improving and without being able to do our heli hike the following afternoon under nice weather. That really blows considering that the glacier was supposed to be a highlight of our trip :(
Such is life....