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
You 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.
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
- Mount Cook National Park 31 kilometers away
- Lake Tekapo 71 kilometers away
- Twizel 89 kilometers away
- Haast & Lake Moeraki 91 kilometers away
- Hokitika 114 kilometers away
- Arthur's Pass National Park 139 kilometers away
- Lake Wanaka 155 kilometers away
- Punakaiki 186 kilometers away
- Arrowtown 190 kilometers away
- Glenorchy 203 kilometers away
- Queenstown 206 kilometers away
- Christchurch 212 kilometers away
- Milford Sound 215 kilometers away
- Akaroa & Banks Peninsula 241 kilometers away
- Hanmer Springs 252 kilometers away
- Dunedin 272 kilometers away
- The Otago Peninsula 273 kilometers away
- Te Anau & Manapouri 284 kilometers away
- Doubtful Sound 319 kilometers away
- Kaikoura 321 kilometers away
- Kahurangi National Park 344 kilometers away
- The Catlins 355 kilometers away
- Nelson 363 kilometers away
- Abel Tasman National Park 373 kilometers away
- Collingwood & Farewell Spit 381 kilometers away
- Blenheim 389 kilometers away
- Picton 408 kilometers away
- Marlborough Sounds 423 kilometers away
- Stewart & Ulva Islands 423 kilometers away
- Wellington 461 kilometers away
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.
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.