Franz Josef Glacier Adventure

A unique and bespoke glacier experience.

The Franz Josef Glacier Adventure is perfect for those seeking a unique and bespoke glacier experience. With a longer scenic flight and lunch and drinks included, you’ll spend more time on the glacier, exploring exclusive trails and glacial features with your guide. A truly unforgettable experience.

Departing Franz Josef, you will head on a breath-taking helicopter flight taking you up to the upper areas of Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere/ Franz Josef Glacier. You will fly along the valley, over lush Rainforest, you will then land at around 1200m on the upper ice fall, here you will be fitted with crampons and any other equipment needed for a day’s
adventuring. On your return helicopter flight you will fly up around historical Almer hut and up toward the Franz Josef Neve.

Tour Details

Helicopter Ride

A longer scenic helicopter transfer over the glacier valley, landing on the ice


This trip can be as easy or challenging as you'd like it to be. Your trained, expert guide will give options for activities on the ice

Guide to Guest Ratio

1 guide with up to 4 guests per booking.

Tour Duration

Up to 8 hours from time of check-in to the end of the trip

Tour Times

Daily departures at 8:30am (October - May)

Ice Time

Up to 5.5 hours spent on ice

Minimum Age

14 years


Lunch and drinks are included up on the glacier

This is an exciting private on-ice experience. A longer scenic helicopter flight taking you over the glacier’s neve area is a spectacular start to the adventure. On landing, our most knowledgeable and experienced guides demonstrate their skills on the glacier. With no set tracks and a guide-to-guest ratio of 1:4, you'll be guided through spectacular ice formations and crevasses. A fully bespoke experience, catered to your preferences. A picnic lunch is provided whilst on ice for a fully inclusive experience. No two adventures are the same!



Adult or Child $1,250
Minimum 14 years - Maximum of four guests per booking

Franz Josef Glacier Adventure Trip Information

Can I do it?

A reasonable level of fitness and agility is required.

The glacier terrain is variable, with conditions that change each day. We provide you with all the gear you need to walk on the ice including boots, crampons, helmets, harnesses and trekking poles. Your guide carries an ice pick so they can cut a path as your trip progresses allowing you to move through more challenging terrain with ease.

While the route may change from one day to the next, you can expect to be on the ice for two and a half hours, walking for much of that time but with frequent stops to explore the features, hear some stories and information about the glacier and of course make the most of photo opportunities.

There will usually be some uphill components of the hike route but your guide will ensure to sustain a comfortable pace for the groups ability. There are also various glacier features to navigate including crevasses and narrow paths. A reasonable level of fitness and agility is therefore required to negotiate this type of terrain, but if you're comfortable with walking for over two hours then you will most likely be capable of completing our glacier heli hike trip.

What to expect

Your qualified NZMGA Hard Ice Guide will take you on a bespoke adventure finding your own trail through the ice fall.
Throughout your adventure you will explore different ice formations, some of these before unseen, no two adventures are quite the same.
Your experienced guide will share with you stories of pioneers and glaciology.
For manuhiri who wish to try ice climbing and other technical skills your fully qualified guides can provide tuition so you can master these skills.
Opportunity to capture some incredible and unique photographs.

What do bring

Please bring with you:

  • Warm, breathable base layers such as merino or polypropylene
  • Suitable long pants for walking in (jeans are not suitable, tracksuits and leggings are fine)
  • Sunglasses (these are essential - if you don't have any with you we have a selection available for purchase at our front desk)
  • Sunblock
  • Your own warm hat and gloves if you prefer
  • Your camera or phone
  • A small water bottle and snack if you need one
Please leave the following items behind:
  • Your valuables such as passport, wallet and car keys
  • Portable chargers and spare camera batteries 
What we provide

We provide:

  • Transfers to and from Heliport
  • All equipment including: crampons, harness, helmet
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • Weatherproof walking boots and socks
  • Trekking poles
  • A small waist pack to carry your crampons and essentials
  • A warm hat and gloves
  • Lunch and drinks
  • Highly trained and friendly guide ready to take you to exclusive spots around the glacier
Trip Cancellations

The changeable weather that shapes our dramatic landscape on the West Coast can also impact our ability to operate. We will not compromise the safety of our guests or staff in any circumstance, so if the weather conditions mean it's not safe to operate a trip we will cancel it. All trips cancelled due to weather will be refunded.

We need a four-hour window of clear weather to operate our Heli Hike, and because the weather is so changeable we are constantly monitoring weather reports and conditions on the glacier to make the safest and most accurate decision.

Since we usually make the final weather call just before the trip departure, the best way to stay informed is to talk to us on the morning of your scheduled trip. 

If you can manage it, we recommend spending at least two days in the Franz Josef region to allow the best chance of getting onto a Heli Hike trip.

Safety Restrictions


Heli Hike Tours are operated by The Helicopter Line with guiding services provided by Franz Josef Glacier Guides. 

The Helicopter Line adheres to the highest safety standards to ensure ongoing safety for both guests and our team. 

They will be delighted to welcome you as a guest provided you:

  • Weigh less than 115kg (253.5lb)
  • Are not pregnant
  • Are over the age of 14 years old, the weight of 35kg and the height of 137cm tall
  • Are not under the influence of intoxicating drugs or alcohol
  • Have not been assessed by a lead guide as lacking the required fitness to complete the trip
Pre-existing medical conditions

Existing or previous medical conditions including (but not limited to) those listed below may have an impact on your ability to participate in our Glacier Heli Hike. It's important that you advise us of the following when making your booking:

  • Ankle or knee injuries
  • ACL damage
  • Joint replacements or dislocations
  • Neck or back injuries
  • Heart conditions and high / low blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Severe asthma

If you have any doubt about your ability to participate in the trip we recommend you consult your medical practitioner prior to booking.

In addition to this, our lead guides may need to restrict guest participation on a Heli Hike Trip based on the specific conditions of the glacier on the day.

Check in Location and Details

Address for check in: Glacier Base, 63 Cron Street, Franz Josef, 7856, New Zealand

Check-in time: 15 minutes prior to trip departure

Check in 7:15am for 7:30am trip

Check in 9:45am for 10:00am trip

Check in 12:15pm for 12:30pm trip

It is important that you arrive at Glacier Base at your scheduled check in time.