Insider's Guide to Franz Josef & Fox Glacier

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

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Located in New Zealand's Westland National Park and Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers are two of the world's most magnificent and accessible glaciers. Echoes of the ice age prevail against the spectacular ... 

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Certiļ¬ed reviews by travelers like you.

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2015

This was a great hike. Wonderful sunny day and a very knowledgable guide, whose name I forget. Our guide knew the local plants and pointed them out to us. He even went down to the flowing stream and found us a couple pieces of the icy glacier that had broken off. The only negative was when we got back to the shuttle pick up our bus did not arrive for another 45 minutes. We were told the driver had misplace the bus' keys.

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
April 2015

While the tour guide was good and interesting, I found the advertising of this difficult walk to be incredibly misleading, a fat asthmatic could have done that walk, especially at the rate we were going. Also the 'need' to get kitted up was unnecessary as we went no where near the ice and the day was quite warm. For what it was - definitely not worth the money!

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
April 2015

We were disappointed. Your company made us feel ripped off and stupid !!! The details about the tour on the website and in email that you informed us before the tour start went wrong and made us confused and upset !!! First, you didnt provide hotel pick up and drop off as promised on the first and the last day !!! We just knew that we have to make our own way to bus station before the pick up time one hour !!! And we knew that because we called you !! Your staff told us over the phone that your company mailed by post us two days ago before the tour start to inform the changes !! But we didn't get any mail !!! We have asked the hotel staff ... nobody found any mail !!! I just don't understand why didnt't you call us or email us !!! You asked for those contact detail !!! And my phone was on international roaming service to stand by to get any urgent information from you !!! Second, on website you mentioned that tour will operated by coach. I think it's quite tricky !!! Because coach made us though that you would provide a coach for a specific group of people. But it turn out to be a inter-city bus that opened for the public !! After all, we did research about the cost of everything accommodation, activity, transportation cost and we found out that your company overcharged us 355 per person !!! I know and understand that the travel agent need to make profit from arrangement those kind of things for the customer. But don't you think that too much !!! How can you do that ??? At first I saw your company profile and I though you are a good one. We decided to buy more than one package from you. We bought another two packages Shotover River Extreme Jet Boat Ride from Queenstown Swimming with Dolphins in Akaroa from your company. They were good. And the price are reasonable !!!! However, after experience 3-Day Queenstown to Christchurch including West Coast Glaciers and the TranzAlpine Train
I decided not to recommend anyone to buy your services anymore !!!

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

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2015

Great guide Lauren she told us about vegetation and wildlife , it was relaxed and friendly definitely recommend this walk to everyone who visits Franz Joseph glacier

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2015

The view during the entire trip was truly fabulous! One thing is you would have almost a day off during this trip which you have to plan yourself. I rent a bicycle in Fox Glacier and spend the 1st days' afternoon enjoyed the sun and the Lake Matheson. After the dinner my friend and I went to the nearby forest for glowworm which was so amazing! 2nd day you would only have the valley walk which was interesting and not dangerous at all, so my friend and I went for the helicopter and enjoyed the view of the Glacier during the rest of day which was soooooo awesome! But I have to say helicopter thing cost me a bunch of money, but who cares right! We still got a lot of time left, but my friend was a bit sick so we spend the rest of time relax and wander around the main road and forest. The 3rd day's main point was the TranzAlpine Train! The highlight of the trip! However, I did spend a lot of extra money during the trip as I got a lot of free time while I love to do anything I could possibly do.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

An awesome walk to the foot of the glacier. Had a great guide who told us lots about the glacial valley. Note that you do not walk on the glacier.

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2015

Misleading ads. No walking on glacier. Information on vocuher all wrong. This walk can be done on your own. Just need to drive 10 minutes from town. Waste of money and time.

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2014

Tour was fun,guide very good ,kids enjoyed walking through creeks on the hike through the valley to the glacier face ,shame u can't get too close nowadays,if you can afford it do the heli hikeon top would be great fun but bit pricey as the only way to get up ontop is helicopter

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

we ready enjoy the walk

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Vivian
Australia

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2014

Well, we changed our mind last minutes before the trip starts. We did the Ice Explorer on Glacier instead by paying extra $250. It was totally worth it. Initially, we didnt want to spend too much on the trip (as it is a big difference) but we were pleased that we made the executive decision to change the trip. The IceExplorer is fabulous and it is definitely an unforgettable life time experience to surrounded and walk around ice for 3+ hours. For those who has chosen this trip, but if you think you are fit enough, please do the Ice Explorer instead. It is remarkable and amazing!! You also get to sit the helicopter to the glacier.

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

Did we have the right shoes? What if it rained? And what if the eight of us had different paces and abilities?Not to worry. Any gear you needed was provided. Slickers, boots, small packs...and the guides were amenable to splitting the group into a more aggressive and more leisurely groups. So, when it did rain...we had the right gear and enjoyed the walk immensely.
Tomr.

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2014

Enjoyed the experience. Leader informative, friendly and supportive.

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2013

Very enjoyable. Whilst you can walk to the glacier by yourself it was nice to have a guide who could explain a lot of the geographical features that we were seeing. Being on a tour also meant that we could proceed past the public limits and get that little bit closer to the glacier.

Doing what: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

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