Hi guys, new blog post written by a happy heli-paddler last month! Thanks Lenai for this wonderful story about your day with us and the Helicopter line…. Enjoy!
It’s a rare and wonderful moment when life seems so perfect it’s difficult to distinguish reality from imagination. Getting launched into a helicopter, whisked away to explore the ice of Franz Josef Glacier, and then unwinding while kayaking through a Kiwi Wildlife Sanctuary could not be any more surreal.
If you sign up for a Heli-paddle combo you are in store for a full day of of action packed adventure. If you’ve never been in a helicopter, hiking on a glacier, or kayaking in the rainforest, why not cross them all off your bucket list in the same day?
Your day will start bright and early, reporting to the Helicopter Line for check-in. Ten minutes later you’ll be suited up and transformed into a mountaineer from head to toe. Get your guide to take your photo and tell all of your relatives back home you’re practicing for Everest…they might even believe you.
It’s now time to climb inside the helicopter and make your grand entrance onto the glacier – after a magnificent scenic flight of course.
The trickiest part about walking on the glacier is accepting the fact that you are walking on a sheet of ice. Franz Josef’s Glacier is quite steep, but equipped with axes to carve steps, your guides will not make you walk up anything to vertical – well without a perfect set of steps for easy use. With crampons fastened tightly around your boots, you won’t slip and slide anywhere; it’s just a matter of trusting your equipment. The faster you do this, the faster you will appreciate your surroundings, and let your imagination take you back to the last ice age.
Glaciers are one of the most exquisite natural wonders ever created. If you are lucky enough to catch it on a sunny day, the light reflects off the ice in such a way, the glacier looks as though it’s composed of crystals rather than frozen water molecules. Carved by water and shaped by tectonic processes, the features of the glacier are both astonishing and unusual. It’s easy to lose yourself in its ancient beauty.
After you’ve had your fill exploring the ice, your guide will escort you back to the chopper so you can shoot back to town just in time for a quick lunch before your kayaking trip. There is no way to help your adrenaline simmer down then a relaxing paddle on Lake Mapourika. The paddle provides a broader view of the mountain range, and you can relax and reflect on being in the midst of the rough terrain sitting safely in your kayak miles away…
To top off this awesome day, we head back into town to enjoy our two-course dinner that’s been reserved (and paid for!) by Franz Josef Tours. We even got our (free) kayaking photos on CD’s to browse through before bed. What a day!