How tourists are killing off New Zealand’s glaciers.

The Franz and Fox Glaciers in New Zealand have proven a popular draw card for tourists, who have included it on their bucket list of things to do and tourist operators have been quick to take advantage of the opportunity for years by offering hikes up the glaciers; however climate change has seen the rapid decline in the glaciers in recent years that it is no longer possible to take a hike up the mountains to see them so tourists are being taken up to see them by helicopter and tourism may be to blame if the statistics are to be believed.

There is no doubt there is a correlation between the increased number of tourists and the melting glaciers.

Since 2008 there has been an explosive growth in New Zealand tourism; one of the most popular items on their bucket list is to visit the glaciers. Is any coincidence that it is also during this tourism growth phase that the glaciers have receded at its fastest rate.

New Zealand is so far away from the rest of the world apart from Oceania that the majority of visitors to the country are leaving a giant carbon footprint which is having an effect on the glaciers. In what must be the ultimate insult, tourists are taken up to the glaciers in helicopter.

If only the glaciers had a voice what would they be saying?

Humans flying up to the glaciers for a closer view is no different to strangers jumping on someone’s deathbed.

The government encourages these activities which are hastening the demise of the glaciers.


Here is the reason. It is because of the goods and services tax which they receive from tourists. It adds up to a fortune.

Tourists travel from far -lung places of the earth to holiday in New Zealand leaving a carbon trail in the process.

But, the New Zealand government will turn a blind eye to the carbon footprint left by foreigners yet point the finger at the mining and farming industries which have been the backbone of New Zealand’s economy for over one hundred years.

What you can do?

You can help the planet by choosing where to take your holidays and to think about what you are spending your money on. It is important to bear in mind that although there is a move away from fossil fuels, many countries who are moving towards so-called green energy are still happy to import goods from countries which are heavy polluters. This is because these same countries provide a huge market for their own produce.

New Zealand’s glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate and the carbon footprint left by tourism is hastening its decline. You may beg to differ but I am interested in your views. Visit

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