Insider's Guide to Franz Josef & Fox Glacier

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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One of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, the Franz Josef Glacier is a spectacular river of ice. It is one of the world's steepest glaciers descending 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) over its 7.5 mile (12 kilometer) path through the valley, ending in lush temperate rainforest. As it flows it travels over bumpy steps which forces ice upwards to create dramatic ice cliffs and sharp crevasses.

Over 2,700 people visit the ice a day during peak season. Some spend their time exploring the terminal face while others take helicopters to take advantage of the views and get access to higher icefalls, so they can clamor over the less-populated ice and carve out an adventure in the stunning and challenging terrain.

Practical Info

Franz Josef is a small town 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the terminal face of the glacier. It only has a population of 330 but it has around 2,000 beds, so you don’t have to travel to and from Queenstown (5 hours) in the same day. There are two bus lines that drive the route, to and from, daily.

Tours & Tickets

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Small-Group Franz Josef Glacier Walk

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 150 Reviews

Be astounded by the natural beauty of the Franz Josef Glacier on a small-group glacier walk. Travel by helicopter to the pinnacles area of the glacier to ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $263.30

Franz Josef Mountain Scenic Helicopter Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Experience two of New Zealand's finest National Parks, divided by the imposing Southern Alps. Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 40 minutes (approx.)

From USD $356.47

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 25 Reviews

On this day trip from Franz Josef experience New Zealand's stunning nature of the Franz Josef Glacier. This relaxing, interpretive walk to the glacier is the ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $60.76

Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight departing Franz Josef

4.5 star rating: Recommended 36 Reviews

Fly over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers on this 30-minute helicopter flight. Marvel at the mantle of pure white snow as you land at the head of ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $243.05

Franz Josef Neve Discoverer Helicopter Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 17 Reviews

The perfect opportunity to get up close to the glacier and touch snow. You'll be captivated as you lift off and fly up and over Fox Glacier and experience the ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 20 minutes (approx.)

From USD $190.39

3-Day Queenstown to Christchurch including West Coast Glaciers and the TranzAlpine Train

Visit highlights of New Zealand’s South Island on a 3-day tour from Queenstown to Christchurch. Be amazed by the Fox Glacier on a 3-hour guided hike that gives ...  Read more

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $745.85

Private Tour: 8-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch Including Franz Josef, Wanaka and Queenstown

See the best of New Zealand’s stunning South Island on this unforgettable 8-day tour! Traveling by private luxury vehicle you’ll visit all the highlights of ...  Read more

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 8 days (approx.)

From USD $2,996.77

See all Franz Josef Glacier Tours & Tickets

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