Skip to content

In the heartland of the West Coast, these two glaciers pour down from the mountains to the pounding surf of the Tasman Coast - nowhere else in the world, at this latitude, have glaciers advanced so close to the sea.

The two small and modern tourist villages, only 23 kilometres apart, serve as bases to explore these natural wonders, where helicopter excursions and hikes are the best ways to explore these amazing rivers of ice.

A number of different helicopter flight routes are possible which can include landing on the glacier and skirting the sheer slopes of Mount Cook.

Heli-hiking on the glaciers

Heli-hike in Franz JosefYou begin your experience at the glacier guiding base where you trade your shoes for sturdy leather boots and get kitted out with ice-walking gear. Your guide then takes you to the helipad where you board a helicopter for your spectacular flight up the valley sides and onto the glacier itself.

The Franz Josef and Fox glaciers are two of the fastest moving in the world, sometimes at a rate of up to 20m a year. This means that the terrain is ever-changing as crevasses close and new ones open so your guide leads you on an unplanned route which is a true adventure.

Ice tunnels glow a deep blue colour and steps up the ice have to be hewn with a pick axe. However, the two and a half hour walk is not overly demanding and suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Leon

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers by contacting one of our New Zealand specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

    Photos of Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

    Accommodation choices for Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Westwood Lodge Lounge and Breakfast Nook

      Westwood Lodge

      First Class

      Just a short drive away from the heart of Franz Josef, this charming lodge offers a cosy alpine-style retreat, surrounded by wild scenery and a mountainous backdrop.

    • Glenfern Villas, Franz Josef Glacier

      Glenfern Villas

      Medium

      Located just a couple of miles North of Franz Josef Village, the Glenfern Villas make a comfortable base from which to explore the local area's wonderful mountain scenery.

    • Misty Peaks, Fox Glacier

      Misty Peaks

      Medium

      Misty Peaks is a boutique bed and breakfast property offering friendly Kiwi hospitality and dramatic views of Mounts Cook, Tasman, and the surrounding countryside.

    • Te Waonui Forest Retreat

      Te Waonui Forest Retreat

      First Class

      Ideally located for visiting the hot springs and glaciers, Te Waonui Forest Retreat is at the cutting edge of sustainable, comfortable accommodation.

    • Holly Homestead, Franz Josef Glacier

      Holly Homestead

      Medium

      Holly Homestead offers quality B&B accommodation with four guest rooms in the stunning Alpine setting of the glacier region.

    Ideas for experiencing Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers, and which use the best local guides.

    • Helicopter on Franz Josef Glacier

      Heli Hike on Franz Josef Glacier

      Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

      Join your crew at The Helicopter Line Officer, Main South Road to commence a heli hike tour. A scenic 10 minute helicopter flight takes you over Franz Josef Glacier to its icefall, where the helicopter lands and you start a two hour guided walk amongst its ice caves, pinnacles and seracs.

    • Helicopter landing, Fox Glacier

      Flight over Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

      Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

      This is a 30 minute scenic flight that will take you high above the spectacular scenery of both Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, with views across to Mount Cook and Mount Tasman.

    • Helicopter landing, Fox Glacier

      Fox Glacier Heli Hiking

      Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

      The Franz Josef and Fox glaciers are two of the fastest moving in the world, sometimes at a rate of up to 20m a year. This means that the terrain is ever-changing as crevasses close and new ones open so your guide leads you on an unplanned route which is a true adventure.