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Photographer's Note

Franz Josef Glacier / Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere is a 12 km long temperate maritime glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Together with the Fox Glacier 20 km to the south, and a third glacier, it descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 meters above sea level.

The area surrounding the two glaciers is part of Te Wahipounamu, a World Heritage Site park. The river emerging from the glacier terminal of Franz Josef is known as the Waiho River.
The first European description of one of the west coast glaciers (believed to be Franz Josef) was made in the log of the ship Mary Louisa in 1859. The glacier was later named after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria by the German explorer, Julius von Haast in 1865. The Māori name for the glacier is Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere ('The tears of Hine Hukatere'), arising from a local legend: Hine Hukatere loved climbing in the mountains and persuaded her lover, Wawe, to climb with her. Wawe was a less experienced climber than Hine Hukatere but loved to accompany her until an avalanche swept Wawe from the peaks to his death. Hine Hukatere was broken-hearted and her many, many tears flowed down the mountain and froze to form the glacier.

Compared to the glaciers in Patagonia, this glacier is rather small and still retreats. But the way to it through the rainforest is fantastic.

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In the forest

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13401 W: 141 N: 34841] (157280)
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