Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: more than a glacier at the glacier

with 8 comments

The Franz Josef Glacier is in a part of New Zealand that gets between 2 and 10 meters of rain a year. When we visited on February 20th, I got the impression that glacial meltwater had combined with runoff from rainfalls to keep several local waterfalls well supplied. Above you see one of them in its full height. To get a sense of how high that was, compare the sizes of the trees.

Below is a detail of a more-accessible waterfall’s base.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 21, 2017 at 5:11 AM

8 Responses

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  1. That rainfall total is amazing. Monrovia gets 4-5 meters per year, with it tapering off somewhat inland, and I thought that was a lot. I assume those are rocks in the water in the second photo, but they have an unusual appearance: almost like rotted wood, or honeycomb.

    The Beatles song you mentioned in the previous post was a good one, but these New Zealand photos are starting to remind me of one of their album titles: “Magical Mystery Tour.”


    March 21, 2017 at 8:33 PM

    • That’s no drizzle for Monrovia. I had no idea it gets so much rain.

      Yes, those are rocks in the second photo. They hint at the many wonderfully textured and colored rocks I saw on the hike to the glacier as well as in several other places in the south half of the South Island. Some of those rocks will show up in forthcoming posts, in fact as soon as next time. They’re part of my second magical mystery tour through New Zealand.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 21, 2017 at 9:06 PM

  2. I remember stopping to collect small rocks from the river bed near the glacier. The rocks looked so shiny in the water. I was very disappointed at how dull they were once out of the water. So disappointed in fact that I put them back in the water. I don’t remember the waterfall, at all.


    March 22, 2017 at 3:20 AM

    • I’ve had the same experience with rocks dulling down as they dry. One remedy is to keep them in a container of water. As with the first trip, our luggage came home laden with some rocks from the South Island.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2017 at 7:02 AM

  3. Nice that you get to photograph some waterfalls…too bad you have to travel so far to do so…but you were there for a happy occasion.

    Steve Gingold

    March 23, 2017 at 5:07 PM

    • If New Zealand changed its name to Waterfalls, nobody could dispute the aptness of the new name. It seems like everywhere we traveled, a waterfall wasn’t far away. That’s a consequence of the heavy rainfall the country consistently gets.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2017 at 7:00 PM

  4. Wonderful photos Steve .. I do love our country


    March 24, 2017 at 5:01 AM

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