Monday, February 11, 2013

Second day in New Zealand - Mt Cook and the Tasman glacier

The next morning we headed back to the restaurant for breakfast and were greeted with beautiful weather and this gorgeous view of the mountain.

This is essentially the same picture I posted near the end of the previous post at the link here.

Evening pictures of Mt Cook

After breakfast we took an excursion out to the Tasman glacier on this Argo all terrain vehicle driven by our guide Graeme.

It was a lot of fun.

This is a picture of valley leading up to the glacier. The rocks on the left have been washed down the mountain by avalanches or heavy rains. The rocks on the right are the side wall moraine of the glacier.

This is a view of the glacier. It is actually kind of ugly. The Tasman glacier is the longest in New Zealand. It is not really receding much over the last 50 or 100 years but rather is melting from the top down. The gray on the top is a 2 meter layer of rocks that have been left on the surface as the ice has melted.

Here is a close up of the face of the glacier.

The water is colored by ground up rock called glacial flour that is suspended in the water.

Here Margot and I are standing on the top of the side wall morain. At one time the ice was this high. I forget how much ice has melted but it is hundreds of feet.

This is a plant called, I believe, Spaniards grass. You see it all over in this part of New Zealand.

Our guide participates in a program to control the population of ferrets, stoats and opposum that are decimating the kiwi population all over New Zealand. These are all non-native species. He stopped to show us one of the traps.

You have seen a similar picture before but it is really a magnificent view.

A group of antique Bentleys at the resort was an unexpected bonus. The cars were all antiques shipped in from all over the world. Someone at the hotel said they come to New Zealand every couple of years.

Here are a couple that were one display. I wish I had the money for this kind of hobby, although I might choose a different one. Many of the cars were shipped in from England and these guys and their wives will spend about 4 weeks touring around.

One of these is a 1924 and the other is a 1930. There were about 20 cars altogether.

That is the resort/hotel in the background.

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