Franz Josef & Fox Glacier RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Top Hiking Trails in Franz Josef & Fox Glacier

By Viator, September 2018

5 435 Reviews | Add your review

Set in New Zealand's Westland Tai Poutini National Park—part of the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Site—the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are two of the world's most accessible glaciers. Unlike polar glaciers, they exist in a temperate climate, making hiking a much more attractive proposition. Here are some of the top trail options.
 
Franz Josef Glacier Hike
Hiking on the sheer icy surface of this glacier is a real thrill. Fly to the glacier crest via helicopter, and land on top where you’ll begin your trek. Using ice axes and crampons, make your way along the vast icy terrain, passing ice caves, pinnacles, seracs, and crevasses. Because of the dangerous and changeable nature of the terrain, hiking on the glacier should only be done with a guide.
 
Fox Glacier Hike
As with Franz Josef Glacier treks, hikes on the Fox Glacier typically begin with a helicopter ride to the top, followed by a guided trek through the icy wilderness. Equipped with appropriate equipment, hikers make their way along the remote icy expanse, passing sculptural ice formations, ice caves, and arches.
 
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
Suitable for those of moderate fitness, this 3.3-mile (5.3-kilometer) trail is ideal for those who would prefer to stay off the ice. It follows the shingle and rock riverbed through the glacier valley, where the glacier once flowed. The route leads to a viewing area, which overlooks the ever-changing terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier.
 
Fox Glacier Valley Walk
This 1.6-mile (2.6-kilometer) walk leads hikers to within 1,640 feet (500 meters) of the terminal face of Fox Glacier, where ice and rock can sometimes be seen calving off. Though it’s not a long route, the surface is somewhat rough and uneven, and hikers may need to cross several small streams.
 
Douglas Walk
Ideal for families, this easy 2.4-mile (3.9-kilometer) loop walk passes through the temperate rain forest, where different areas of vegetation represent the stages of regrowth following the retreat of the glacial ice. It leads to Peters Pool, a small reflective kettle lake formed by meltwater from Franz Josef Glacier, where you can see a mirrored image of the surrounding peaks.

Tours & Tickets

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Heli-Hike Franz Josef Glacier Walk, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, null
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Heli-Hike Franz Josef Glacier Walk

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 197 Reviews

Discover the best of New Zealand’s natural beauty on this small-group 4-hour Franz Josef Glacier walk. Travel by helicopter to the Pinnacles area of the ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $313.93
Heli Hike Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier, Eco Tours
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Heli Hike Fox Glacier

The fly-in, fly-out helihike combines the excitement of walking on the Fox Glacier with the thrill of helicopter flights. By flying in you are able to access ...  Read more

Location: Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $307.78
Heli Hiking Franz Josef, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, Ski & Snow
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Heli Hiking Franz Josef

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 155 Reviews

Combine a scenic helicopter flight over Franz Josef Glacier with a 2-hour guided walk on glacial terrain during this exhilarating tour from Franz Josef. Find ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $307.09
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, Ski & Snow
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Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

4.5 star rating: Recommended 76 Reviews

On this day trip from Franz Josef experience New Zealand's stunning nature of the Franz Josef Glacier. This relaxing, interpretive walk to the glacier is the ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $54.03
Fox Trail: Terminal Face Walk, Fox Glacier, Ski & Snow
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Fox Trail: Terminal Face Walk

This informative guided walk winds its way up the Fox Valley to a viewpoint where you can see the ever-changing face of the Te Moeka o Tuawe/Fox Glacier. You ...  Read more

Location: Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $47.19
3-Day Queenstown to Christchurch including West Coast Glaciers and the TranzAlpine Train, ... 
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3-Day Queenstown to Christchurch including West Coast Glaciers and the TranzAlpine Train

3 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

Visit highlights of New Zealand’s South Island on a 3-day tour from Queenstown to Christchurch. Be amazed by the Fox Glacier on a 3-hour guided hike that gives ...  Read more

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $615.55
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Eco Tour, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, Multi-day Tours
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Franz Josef Glacier Valley Eco Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Get out and explore on this 3-hour guided walking tour in the Franz Josef Glacier Valley.  Walk through native rainforest and learn about native flora and ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $54.72
Fox Glacier Valley Eco Tour, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, Eco Tours
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Fox Glacier Valley Eco Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Approx 2 - 2.5 hour fully guided walking tour in the Fox Glacier Valley (inc breaks).  Transport included from Franz Josef and Fox Glacier townships. ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $54.72
4-hour Lake Mapourika Kayak and Hike adventure, with Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary, Franz Josef & Fox ... 
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4-hour Lake Mapourika Kayak and Hike adventure, with Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary

Explore all that Lake Mapourika has to offer in this half day guided Kayak & Walk excursion - just minutes away from Franz Josef Glacier! Paddle across ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.17
West Coast Tree Top Walk Experience, South Island, Kayaking & Canoeing
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West Coast Tree Top Walk Experience

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better 1 Review

An exhilarating treetop adventure among temperate rain forest giants. Experience life with the birds high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Easy ...  Read more

Location: Hokitika, New Zealand
Duration: 45 minutes

From USD $19.83

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