Franz Josef Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

Franz Josef Glacier Charles Kenwright

Franz Josef Glacier, South Island New Zealand
copyright: charles kenwright/

The Franz Josef Glacier, together with the Fox Glacier descend into lush temperate rainforest. The Franz Josef Glacier has a link with the photograph I posted yesterday – for it was named for the Austrian Emperor, Franz Josef by Julius von Haast in 1865.

As with most natural features in New Zealand, it already had a Maori name, Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere, The Tears of Hinehukatere. The legend goes that Hinehukatere loved climbing mountains and persuaded her lover, Wawe, to accompany her. He was not as experienced as Hinehukatere and one day he was swept to his death by an avalanche. Hinehukatere was broken hearted and her many many tears flowed down the mountain and froze to form the glacier. I think the Maori name wonderful, and much better than naming it after a rather pompous and distant Austrian emperor – although he was reportedly to have been a cold sort of a person.

We unfortunately didn´t get up on the glacier because we were not kitted out for such travel, shame really but there it is.

4 thoughts on “Franz Josef Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

  1. Great location….looks just fantastic, an awe inspiring place. NZ is just one of so many places on the list to do! Somehow the list seems to get longer and each year fewer get ticked off!

    • Thanks, David. Yes it is fantastic, I´d have loved to have got up on the glacier, but being under it was also great. And yes, it´s a long list, but if you do want to go somewhere, then it´s NZ.

  2. Hi Charles. That’s a great picture. And the legend about the glacier – people who live closest to the earth always have the best interpretations of how features were formed. Frozen tears. I’ll go along with that.
    Cheers, Alen

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