4.5 star rating: Recommended 40 Reviews

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

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Take a 3-hour guided hike to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier, scrambling along an exclusive pathway over the riverbed of the mighty Waiho. During the interpretive valley walk to the glacier, your guide covers the geographical features of this magnificent alpine landscape. Upon reaching the viewpoint, you’re treated to an up-close look at the advancing glacier. Numbers are limited to 13 people per group for a more personal experience.


  • 3-hour Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
  • Take a day trip from Franz Josef to experience New Zealand's stunning nature and picturesque views of the Franz Josef Glacier.
  • See spectacular views of the rapidly changing terminal face of the glacier
  • Enjoy snacks on the summit and listen to storytelling from your guide
  • Small-group tour, maximum of 13 people per group for a more personal experience

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Make your way to the operator’s base in Franz Josef to meet your guide and get geared up with proper equipment for your 3-hour valley walk to Franz Josef Glacier, which requires a basic level of fitness.

After a brief bus ride to the outskirts of the glacier, follow your guide on foot during a valley walk through a forest and up alongside the Waiho River. The hike along the rocky riverbed takes you via exclusive trails amid a magnificent alpine landscape en route to the glacier’s rapidly changing terminal face. 

Learn from your guide about the glaciology and natural history of Franz Josef, also known by its Maori name as Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere, and hear about the imposing giant’s path of retreat. Close to the terminal face, you'll be rewarded with impressive views of the marbled blue ice and deep crevasses. 

Finish with the return hike through the valley back to the minivan and transport to the base.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

the guides were excellent-- Josh and Peter i think.
They were interested in the guests and keen to share their extensive knowledge throughout the tour.
it was obvious that you could just walk most of the way without the guides but it was worth the money to pay for the added information from the guides.

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.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

we ready enjoy the walk

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2013

We had a fun time at Franz Josef ,The valley walk was educational and interesting the whole thing took more or less 3-4 hours. Our guide was friendly and we were able to get closer to the glacier. We were able to hold the glacier and take pictures on it.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2013

We enjoyed the experience a great deal. Our guide made our trip to the glazier one to remember.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2013

Our tour guide was fantastic! Good for all ages, and fabulous local knowledge! I would recommend this tour!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2013

Amazing experience our guide took us to the rim of the glacier would highly recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2013

Very informative guide led just the two of us on this interesting walk. We were able to go quite close to the glacier and appreciated it much more as we could ask questions and were shown aspects we wouldn't have noticed on our own.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2013

A lovely valley walk to the glacier on paths dedicated to the tour with two excellent guides (Mike and Jasmine). Thoroughly recommended as a great introduction to the Franz Josef Glacier.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2013

This was great value for money - not only did we get a good 3hr hour guided walk but also passes to get into the hot water pools which would have cost us 20 dollars each! We were also given a DVD about Franz Joseph so all in all a wonderful morning spent in a beautiful area of NZ.

From USD $ 50.27

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Tour code: 2524GV_ECO


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