Visiting Glacier Country and wondering which glacier trip is best? Well, you’re not alone! Will it be Franz Josef Glacier or Fox Glacier? Both glaciers offer great hike options and even better scenery. But there are a few things that make Franz Josef Glacier the better option. So, to help you decide which glacier trip to do, here’s….
We know travel itineraries are tight. And don’t forget the weather around New Zealand’s West Coast is unpredictable. While you may have planned for lots of time for walking the glacier valley at either Fox or Franz Josef Glacier, sometimes plans just don’t work out. The best way to see the most incredible sights of the glacier (like blue ice) is to do a heli-hike. And Franz Josef Glacier’s Ice Explorer trip is the fastest (and cheapest) trip onto the glacier. Just a short 5 minutes flight, and you are in a world of stunning ice formations.
The most dramatic formations are formed on a glacier when it moves downwards on a steep gradient. Fox Glacier has a gradual incline whereas Franz Josef is steeper. The surface of Franz Josef Glacier is full of crevasses and ice caves, where you have a much better chance of seeing the famous blue ice. And if you are coming all the way to Glacier Country, you don’t want to miss out on seeing this incredible phenomenom.
We all love free stuff. And we all love soaking in beautiful hot pools after a day hiking on the ice….don’t we? Franz Josef Glacier Guides offers you both of these, as free access to Glacier Hot Pools is included for any customer who does a heli hike or Ice Explorer trip. With three public pools and three private pools nestled amongst lush West Coast rainforest, you don’t want to miss out on this.
Both Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers offer access onto the glacier by helicopter. Both glaciers have unstable lower portions making it unsafe for hikers to walk in the lower areas of the glacier. But this is good news for hikers, as helicopter access means you are flown straight onto the “best bits’ of the glacier. For those who are budget conscious, Franz Josef Glacier Guides offers the best value for money trip with its Ice Explorer at just $325pp. With a short “heli-hop” we’ve been able to keep costs down for our customers while still offering a jaw-dropping experience.
Franz Josef Glacier Guides is owned by Ngai Tahu, the local South Island Maori tribe. Profits go to support the South Island Maori community through contribution to funding for Maori education, language and culture. As a privately owned entity, Franz Josef Glacier Guides supports both the community and the livelihood of those living and working in the region. We actively support the Department of Conservation in their key initiatives such as native reforestation and pest control.