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Australian bushfire smoke turns New Zealand glaciers brown

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    Agence France-Presse

Wellington, New Zealand   /   Thu, January 2, 2020   /   12:45 pm
 Australian bushfire smoke turns New Zealand glaciers brown The afternoon sky glows orange from bushfires in the area around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were forced to flee to beaches in fire-ravaged southeast Australia on December 31, as blazes ripped through popular tourist areas leaving no escape by land. (AFP/Saeed Khan)

Smoke from Australia's bushfires has created a haze across New Zealand thousands of kilometres away with normally white glaciers turning a shade of caramel, according to social media posts Thursday.

The acrid-smelling smoke first appeared in the country early Wednesday when in many areas the sun appeared as either a red or golden orb, depending on the thickness of the haze.

"Smoke which has travelled around 2,000km across the Tasman Sea can clearly be seen," New Zealand's official forecaster MetService tweeted. 

"Visibility in the smoke haze is as low as 10km in the worst affected areas." 

A Twitter user called Miss Roho tweeted: "We can actually smell the burning here in Christchurch." 

Another woman, Rachel, posted a photo of the Franz Josef Glacier -- more than 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles) away -- with its usual pristine white taking on a brown hue.

"Near Franz Josef glacier. The 'caramelised' snow is caused by dust from the bushfires. It was white yesterday," she said in a post Wednesday.

Comedian Jemaine Clement posted a photo of a golden orb.

"All the way over in NZ the Australian bushfire smoke in the atmosphere giving us this strange sun," he said.