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On this Franz Joseph Glacier helicopter tour and hike, you’ll land atop the glacier and explore ice caves and pinnacles with a small group. Soar above New Zealand’s Southern Alps during a scenic flight, then grab your ice axe and make your way through dramatic ice formations during a moderately difficult 3-hour hike. After your return flight, rejuvenate with a blissful soak at Glacier Hot Pools. Numbers are limited to 11 to ensure personalized attention from your expert guide.


  • 4-hour Franz Joseph Glacier walk
  • Take in beautiful glacier views from the air by helicopter
  • Explore the ice with your guide and gain insight into the geological forces at play
  • Marvel at the stunning landscape on your moderately difficult hike
  • Relax after your glacier walk with a soak in the hot pools
  • Tour includes all hiking equipment

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Small-Group Franz Josef Glacier Walk

Marvel at the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier on your walk

Meet your guide at the centrally located tour base in Franz Josef at one of several morning departure times available. You’re given a safety orientation and provided with protective gear including Gore-tex jacket, trousers, woolen hat, gloves and leather boots with crampons in preparation for your Franz Joseph Glacier tour.

Then hop into the helicopter for stunning aerial views over New Zealand's scenic Southern Alps and surrounding area — a magnificent sight to behold. After a brief flight, you’ll experience a gentle yet thrilling landing atop the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

Ice axe in hand, set off on foot with your guide past ice formations that protrude alongside ice caves, pinnacles and seracs. Explore the dramatic landscape as you hike for 3 hours past mazes of ice and deep blue crevasses along the 7.5-mile-long (12-km) glacier. With insight from your guide, you’ll understand the various geological forces at play in this otherworldly environment.

At the conclusion of your glacier hike, return to Franz Josef by helicopter and unwind with a rejuvenating soak at the Glacier Hot Pools, situated in a rainforest haven at the edge of town. Relax your muscles in the soothing hot pools, which are fed by pure glacier water — an ideal way to complete your half-day adventure.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This was absolutely amazing. The views were great and wandering around a glacier was a very unique and fun experience.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Nathan Russell our glacier guide was awesome and he gave above and beyond service for our family of 4, and the glacier terrains were spectacular. Cheers


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This tour was amazing! From the helicopter to our tour guide Nathan! We had such a great time exploring the glacier ! Highly recommended. The hot pools at the end were a nice finish as well.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

The walk was amazing and the guide was very informative

Natasha S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Amazing trip! From the helicopter ride there to walking around! I would recommend this to everyone. With a small group i can only imagine that it's a quicker trip around the glacier than it would be with a larger group. We had a few slower walkers which worked out well for us because we were up front and got to stop and enjoy the scenery. Our guide, George, was awesome and he made it fun too!

Kirsty G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Tour was great same with your guide nick!

yi ming L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Great tour guides and extremely informative. Awesome experience. Only real way to experience the glaciers.

Varun A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Wonderful experience walking on the glacier. Snow all around. We had great fun. Weather was awesome and we really enjoyed it :

Miss K. D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

I loved the glacier soo much!!! It was amazing experience, definitely recommended!

Karis C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Loved much better seeing it up close than from the bottom at the valley walk. Glad I went on the 2nd morning flight group as there was less people traffic up on the walk. We didn't see other groups til the very end. Short helicopter ride was fun and 3 hrs on the ice was perfect. Fairly easy hike for this low-moderate fit girl, but a few steeper areas that might be hard for someone with bad knees. Next time I want to do the ice climbing to get closer to the serac and have a more challenging hike. Adam was a great guide!
This activity is entirely weather dependent as rain isn't uncommon there so it's luck of the draw. Glad I prebooked knowing I could get a refund thru viator if weather cancellation bc it was raining badly when I arrived to town but sunny and gorgeous the day of the helicopter-hike and all tours were sold out so there were some disappointed tourists.

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