Heli Hiking Franz Josef

Franz Josef, New Zealand

From $322.61 USD

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3 hours (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
Offered in: English


Experience a Franz Josef Glacier heli-hike as you explore ice caves and other glacial terrain with a professional guide.  Then don provided boots, jacket and ice axe for a guided hike past deep crevasses and towering ice-blue pinnacles before the return chopper ride down. Choose from seasonal departure times to suit your schedule.
  • Franz Josef Glacier helicopter tour and guided hike
  • Take a helicopter flight between two icefalls
  • Follow a professional guide on a hike on the glacial terrain
  • Equipment provided, including glacier boots and ice crampons

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

Expert mountaineering guides and equipment make this tour ideal for first-time glacier hikers.

Inclusions & Exclusions


  • Helicopter ride
  • Professional guide
  • 2-hour hike on the glacier
  • Use of gear (glacier boots, talons, socks, ice axe, waterproof jacket)


  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure & Return

Departure Point

Helicopter operator's local base (address provided on your booking voucher)

Return Details

Returns to original departure point

What To Expect

Start your Franz Josef Glacier tour at a helicopter base in town. Receive a safety briefing and be fitted with provided gear including a waterproof jacket, glacier boots with socks and ice crampons, and an ice axe.
Then board the AS355 twin-engine Squirrel, a helicopter whose open-plan cabin offers prime views for all six passengers. Hover above remote landscapes with access to the 7.5-mile-long (12-km) Franz Josef Glacier. Fly right by towering peaks, over deep crevasses, and past pristine blue waterways. Admire the sparkling ice before an exciting landing high up on the glacier between two icefalls.
Then hop out to begin your guided hike over the picturesque icy terrain, most often seen only by skilled mountaineers.
Clamber in and around ice caves as your guide points out dramatic pinnacles and seracs, and learn about the history and current conditions of Franz Josef Glacier. Enjoy plenty of photo ops before you reboard the helicopter for the ride back to town.

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Minimum age is 8 years
  • It is recommended that you wear sturdy footwear and bring warm layers due to cold temperatures
  • Moderate level of fitness is required
  • Subject to favorable weather conditions; if canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund
  • Please note: A guided walk among ice caves is usually part of the tour but all tour activities are dependent on the weather
  • Maximum weight limit of 120kg per person including gear / Minimum child weight 30kg (subject to ice conditions)
  • What to bring
  • Warm upper-body clothing (preferably 3-4 layers)
  • Leggings or light trousers, although shorts are acceptable
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Waterproof jacket (provided if you don't have one)

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

Traveler Photos


Viator Traveler's Reviews

166 Reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
, Mar 2019

Booked a trip and received very detailed information upfront which was great! We drove 5 hrs to Franz Josef and we were really excited. The check in process was great and very efficient. The helicopter ride was short but we got to see the glacier and was long enough for us. The guide we received was not great. She spoke a lot about her personal life, which none of us us were very interested in speaking to so our group was quite quiet. It seemed like we were there to entertain her and she was bored. We ended up ending our hike at 2:20; 40 minute earlier than our tour end time. We were supposed to stop at another stop but the other guide didn't respond to her request to go there since her guide level restricted as to where she could go. As a result, we just walked back and stood on the ice for 10 minutes listening to how she talked about how there were issues between helicopter line and her company. The helicopter ride back would've been max 10 min so we were extremely disappointed to have our hike cut short and had to listen to the company issues instead of hiking. At the very end, another guide came with is group and mentioned they had a great tour. She told him "my group didn't talk but whatever" with a very annoyed tone right in front of us. Our ride back was fine and I asked to speak to the manager but he/she wasn't there that day. It has been 3 days since and I haven't heard a response yet.

Overall, this may be a one off experience but maybe try booking with an alternative company as if you are spending $300+ per person, you want to ensure that you get a great experience. We were extremely disappointed..we flew 17 + hrs and drove 5 + hrs to get here. Hope others experience will be different in the future.

Pablo O
, Mar 2019

The attitude of the staff working here - specially the manager- will ruin your experience and vacation. Take your money somewhere else.

Gabriela M
, Apr 2018

No lo pude hacer por clima, no paro de llover.

lee f
, Apr 2018


Alana H
, Apr 2018

AMAZING!!! Highlight of my trip

, Mar 2018

This is a great activity. It was amazing to fly up to the glacier and walk around it. Our guide was knowledgeable. Only negative was we hiked in a small loop from where the helicopter drops you off. I would have been nice to hike a longer distance, but I understand the guides have to consider the capabilities of the weakest member of the group.

Ian T
, Feb 2018

A must do, was a great experience staff and guide on the Glacier were excellent.

, Feb 2018

It could have been 4.5 stars. Our guide Eric was very diligent and helpful. Explained quite a bit on the geo knowledge. The heli ride was exiting except it was quite short. To be honest, there was not much to see over there but the experience was unforgettable.

, Oct 2017

This was a great experience! I suggest breaking the groups on the glacier into different fitness levels. We spent too much time waiting for others in the group. I feel like we missed out on some great views because of this.

, Sep 2017

A great event well worth doing.

Book online or call
(888) 651-9785
(888) 651-9785
Product code: 3434WHO_HELIHIKE

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