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.
Use of gear (glacier boots, talons, socks, ice axe, waterproof jacket)
Food and drinks
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Departure & Return
Helicopter operator's local base (address provided on your booking voucher)
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.
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)
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
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.
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.
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.
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.