Fox Glacier

At 13 kilometres in length, Fox Glacier is the largest West Coast glacier. However, its current length pales in comparison to past size where in the last ice age the glacier extended almost to the sea leaving its tell-tale moraine walls as evidence of past advances, the most recent being in the 1750’s. The glacier is fed by the vast snowfields that drain the southern alps at a height of approximately 2000 metres. The abundance of snowfall occurs as the moisture laden winds that sweep across the Tasman Ocean are forced upwards to flow over the mountains they have encountered. As they rise the air cools and the moisture converted to rainfall Nearby Lake Matheson is a kettle lake formed by a decaying glacier as it retreated back to the existing valley.


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