Franz Josef Glacier Guides is launching a spectacular new glacier tour called The Ice Explorer this week (Thursday 12 April 2012).

The new guided trip will take visitors on a short trip directly up on to the pristine glacial ice by helicopter, bypassing the potentially unstable terminal face area.

Ngai Tahu Tourism Regional General Manager West Coast Fraser Leddie says the new tour is a result of on-going assessments of the geographical stability of the area, factoring in the highest level of safety possible and balanced with the best value experience Franz Josef Glacier Guides can offer clients.

"The glacier has been advancing and retreating over the last 100 years and on-going changes are part of the natural cycle of a glacier. At all times, the safety of our staff and customers is paramount and this new trip is a proactive response to the ever changing environment at Franz Josef," he said.

"This is also a good opportunity to reinforce the importance of safety around glaciers and being part of a group led by trained, experienced guides", Fraser Leddie added.

Franz Josef Glacier Guides is a Ngai Tahu-owned business which helps to promote the values of the iwi. This includes respecting the environment, particularly significant natural features in New Zealand, as well as on-going regional activities such as stoat trapping, recycling visitor rubbish, recycling old equipment and composting, Franz Josef Glacier Guides is committed to measuring and offsetting the carbon the new tours will produce. In 2009 Franz Josef Glacier Guides achieved a Silver Enviro Award Rating through Qualmark New Zealand.

For more information about Franz Josef Glacier Guides, visit

For further information please contact:
Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Communications Advisor Fiona McLeod 021 872 015.

About Ngai Tahu Tourism:
Ngai Tahu Tourism is one of New Zealand's premier tourism operators and the parent company of an extensive portfolio of iconic adventure and eco-tourism businesses.

From high adrenalin thrills to remote and spectacular World Heritage locations each business offers a range of unique experiences for travellers to and around New Zealand.

South Island operations include Shotover Jet, Dart River Safaris and Hollyford Track Guided Walks in Queenstown. The Glacier Hot Pools and Glacier Walks in Franz Josef, kayaking and Water Taxis in the Abel Tasman National Park. North Island operations include Kiwi Encounter and Kiwi Wildlife Park at Rainbow Springs and the Huka Falls Jet in Taupo. Ngai Tahu Tourism has a significant investment in the Agrodome, Rotorua.

Ngai Tahu Tourism is part of the Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation Limited; the investment company of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu which trades under the name Ngai Tahu Holdings Group.