Glaciers are fascinating creations of Mother Nature. Standing in front of them you can’t help but feel some sort of insignificance. In a good way. It makes you feel humble, grateful and awakes responsibility and a want in you to care for and do whatever is in your power to preserve the beauty you find in your natural surroundings. You want to give back. Because that’s the least you can do to show your gratitude after being rejuvenated, revitalized and filled with awe and joy walking beneath the gentle giants. Here follows a photo essay of a day hike to Franz Josef Glacier on the South Island of New Zealand.

Future generations are not going to ask us what political party were you in. They are going to ask what did you do about it, when you knew the glaciers were melting.
Martin Sheen

Rule number 1 when hiking: Find yourself a magic walking stick!

First part of the track leads you through a lush forest.

And a lake with otherworldly reflections.

The Kea, New Zealand’s inquisitive mountain parrot, is a common sight along the track.

The look into this valley is… wow… just wow!

Next, the trail carries you towards an opening in the misty mountains ahead.

A wild river of silver and white complement the surrounding mountains.

Breaking into a duet with the sound of rushing waterfalls.

The findings of mysterious rock formations kindle our curiosity.

While excitement rises as we get closer to the gap in the mountains.

The glacier welcomes us with open arms in the distance.

Finally at the foot of the glacier – high-five!

Being rewarded with a divine view like this one, it was worth every step.

On the way back…

The waterfall in the distance lured us into temptation.

A bit of bromance after a naked bath in the freezing, but refreshing water.

Smaller and humbler waterfalls were also present on the way back.

Doing a walk like this awakes the inner child in you.

Stealing one last glimpse at the magnificent glacier before it’s time to get back to reality.

“Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Albert Einstein