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Friday Flashback: Our drive from Christchurch to Fox Glacier, New Zealand

July 15, 2016

Back in 2012, Jeremy and I jumped on a flight from Wellington to Christchurch, grabbed a rental car and drove over to Fox Glacier. It was a really great trip full of memories.

To get to the other side of the island, you have to go through Arthur’s Pass. This is a long, but amazing drive up through the hills. We went in November, which means it was late Spring in New Zealand. We expected the weather to be quite good, but we didn’t think about the fact that the road goes so far up the hill, it can get pretty cold.

We found out the hard way that it was close to 0 degrees up there, with snow and ice on the road. Cars in New Zealand don’t really have winter appropriate tires, which means that you have to put on chains to drive in those conditions, which we of course didn’t have any.

I was worried we wouldn’t make it and would have to turn back, but after driving really slowly for a while, we managed to get through it and started going down the hill again. The weather wasn’t ideal for most of the trip there.

We stopped at a few viewpoints and at one of them there was a warning to watch out for Keas. Kea is a bird in New Zealand that apparently eats your car. Like, actually. It picks at the rubber on the car and peels it off. I didn’t really believe it, but we came back to the car to find a Kea picking at it.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

We chased it off as we didn’t want any damage to the rental car, but it flew back and sat on the side mirror for a while looking at us.


We didn’t take too many photos on the way there because of the poor weather. But the evening we arrived we went to Westland Tai Poutini National Park to go for a bit of a walk. It was a lovely area, and the weather had improved a little bit. It was still cloudy and a bit overcast, but at least it wasn’t foggy anymore.

We stayed at a B&B called Reflection Lodge in Fox Glacier which was really lovely. The hostess was super nice and chatty, and she made the best poached eggs I think I’ve ever had. When I told her that, if I remember correctly, she said it’s because they came from her own hens.

The next morning after a lovely sleep we took a helicopter ride up to the glacier. We were wanting to do both Fox Glacier and Frans Josef Glacier, but due to the winds we could only do Fox. That was perfectly fine though because it was absolutely lovely up there.


It was so beautiful I think I actually cried a bit. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but when I find myself in spectacular places, it’s pretty emotional. The world is a beautiful place.

I probably wouldn’t have been able to stay up there for too much longer though, because trust me, it was cold. Apparently there is a hut called Pioneer Hut up there somewhere that you can stay overnight in. Not sure what you’d do while there though!

This was a pretty short trip, we only stayed one night and the next day we drove back to Christchurch again. We drove the same way back, but it looked completely different when the sun was out and there was no fog. It was unbelievable really, I almost thought we had accidentally taken a different route back. We took quite a lot of photos on the way back. These are only a few gems.


It was a wonderful trip. It would have been great to stay longer, but we did this as a weekend trip. We’re a bit crazy like that sometimes. We’ll jet off to explore a new area of New Zealand, even if we can’t afford to take leave from work. We just go Saturday to Sunday, or sometimes we take advantage of long weekends. I kind of feel like we have to go back at some point to allow some more time to explore the area.

Have you been to Fox Glacier? If not, would you like to go?

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  • treasa

    Really lovely photos! You make it look and sound beautiful.

    July 15, 2016 at 11:23 am Reply
    • Sophie

      Aww thanks! 🙂

      July 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm Reply

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