The Tasman Glacier
It was around 2pm when we arrived in Mount Cook village. The weather had been cloudy all day as we had been driving north. A few kilometres from the village the clouds parted and the sun was out and all the mountains were visible. We had to decide quickly where we were going to walk. We wanted to get to a nice location nearer to the sunset for some photographs. We decided that we’d stay in Ball Shelter which is on the West side of the Tasman Glacier and just east of the highest mountain in New Zealand (Mount Cook). The path to Ball Shelter follows the glacier and offers some pretty amazing views over it.
I was quite surprised to read in the New Zealand Lonely Planet the following paragraph:
“The Tasman Glacier is a predictably spectacular sweep of ice, but further down it's downright ugly. Normally as a glacier retreats it melts back up the mountain, but the Tasman is unusual because its last few kilometres are almost horizontal. In recent decades it has melted from the top down, exposing a jumble of stones, rocks and boulders and forming a lake. In other words, in its 'ablation zone' (where it melts), the Tasman is covered in a solid mass of debris, which slows down its melting rate and makes it unsightly.”
For me it was really impressive, you can clearly see how the Glacier is cutting away at the mountains and what an unstoppable force it is.
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Forever has always existed.
In the mythology of Oceanic peoples, it's been there along with Darkness and the Sea.
The Earth came from the efforts of Old Spider, who soared over the endless sea and found a giant clam. She opened it and crawled inside, finding a snail there to share the space with her. She set the snail in the west and made it into the Moon to shed some light into the darkness. Together they raised up the top of the clam shell to make the sky, pushing it until it was wide open.
Then they pushed the bottom half of the clam shell in the other direction to make the ground. The earth was called Papa and the sky Ranga. These are the two first beings who created all the flowers, plants, trees and animals on the islands, and fish in the sea.
They celebrated all their open space by making as many beautiful creatures as they could imagine, but they still remained separated by the work of the original Old Spider. Each night, Ranga weeps for his beloved Papa earth, and this is where the morning dew comes from.
Polynesia means "many islands" and when you see these pictures, you will want to visit all of them. To make it simple, the islands sit in a triangle described by connecting Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island.
There are over a thousand of these islands of surfer's paradise in the central and south Pacific Ocean. It's stunning. Look at the color of the water here! And the sunset... these speak for themselves. Could you be happy in this little house? How about some reef diving inside a lagoon?
Put this one in full screen and don't come back. Love, 360.
Text by Steve Smith.