Insider's Guide to Franz Josef & Fox Glacier

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

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Taking a guided walk on a glacier has to be one of the coolest experiences you'll have in New Zealand. Whether hovering over the spectacular ice formations by helicopter or strapping on crampons to hike the ice, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are ... 

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Certiļ¬ed reviews by travelers like you.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

Awesome experience. The only way to see the glacier.

Doing what: Franz Josef Mountain Scenic Helicopter Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

Loved the helicopter ride and glacier hike as well. Totally worth the money!

Doing what: Heli Hiking Franz Josef

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

could not do it due to bad weather

Doing what: Heli Hiking Franz Josef

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

it was great, staff was well informed and educated. it was a lot of fun

Doing what: Heli Hiking Franz Josef

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2014

Beautiful weather, impressive colors, pleasant guide, exciting cave crawling, romantic experience to celebrate our 30 th wedding anniversary!

Doing what: Heli Hiking Franz Josef

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2014

Amazing views, well worth the cost

Doing what: Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight from Franz Josef

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

The heli-hike was a wonderful experience, the highlight of our trip. It was professionally organised and our guide was very knowledgable. We had a beautiful day on fresh snow. A real treat.

Doing what: Heli Hiking Franz Josef

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

we ready enjoy the walk

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

This was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand. The helicopter ride was awesome! Your first ride is about 10-15 minutes with some great photo opportunities and the ride back is a bit shorter. In our helicopter, there was room for six guests in addition to the pilot -- two seats up front next to the pilot and four seats in the back of the helicopter. We had two guides on our tour (one was a student on workstudy) and both were wonderful. They were very knowledgeable about the glacier and the history of Franz Joseph. We were able to go hike near the waterfall and climb through some ice tunnels which made for amazing photos.

The tour company provides wool socks, boots, and a waterproof jacket and pants. The jacket can go over your own coat but most in our party just opted to leave on two light layers (a t-shirt) and fleece under the provided jacket. You get quite hot while hiking so I'd recommend leaving your winter jacket in the shed. You are responsible for your own gloves and should probably bring along waterproof ones. I'd also recommend sunglasses and sunscreen -- I wish I brought along sunglasses as it took awhile for my eyes to adjust to the sun reflecting off the ice.

Doing what: Heli Hiking Franz Josef

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2014

Really enjoyed hiking on the Glacier in Franz Josef. The company were very accommodating when we had to change the time of our booking at the last minute due to a closed road. I'm glad we chose to walk with the faster group so we got to see more of the Glacier, our guide was fantastic and very interesting, knew what he was talking about and had many stories to tell. Only downside was some of the other people in our group (about ten of us per group on the glacier) who were very irritating and didn't follow the instructions the guide gave them, meaning one ended up falling through thin ice!!!

Doing what: Heli Hiking Franz Josef

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