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 20 miles away
- Lake Tekapo 44 miles away
- Twizel 56 miles away
- Haast & Lake Moeraki 57 miles away
- Hokitika 71 miles away
- Arthur's Pass National Park 86 miles away
- Lake Wanaka 96 miles away
- Punakaiki 116 miles away
- Arrowtown 118 miles away
- Glenorchy 126 miles away
- Queenstown 128 miles away
- Christchurch 132 miles away
- Milford Sound 134 miles away
- Akaroa & Banks Peninsula 150 miles away
- Hanmer Springs 157 miles away
- Dunedin 169 miles away
- The Otago Peninsula 170 miles away
- Te Anau & Manapouri 177 miles away
- Doubtful Sound 198 miles away
- Kaikoura 200 miles away
- Kahurangi National Park 214 miles away
- The Catlins 221 miles away
- Nelson 226 miles away
- Abel Tasman National Park 232 miles away
- Collingwood & Farewell Spit 237 miles away
- Blenheim 242 miles away
- Picton 253 miles away
- Marlborough Sounds 263 miles away
- Stewart & Ulva Islands 263 miles away
- Wellington 286 miles 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.