Safety at Franz Josef Glacier Guides

We pride ourselves on our commitment to safety.

In fact, it's the number one focus of our team everyday to ensure to the best of our ability the safety of our guests.

Franz Josef Glacier and the surrounding Waiho Valley are absolutely stunning places, yet these can be inherently dangerous places as well. For this reason, safety on all our tours is paramount. We are very proud of our Safety Management Systems that we employ and continue to improve upon.

Our Safety Management Systems are externally and internally audited onsite several times a year, and we choose to use industry leaders to conduct these such as:


Qualmark is New Zealand tourism's official quality control agency. It licenses professional and trustworthy New Zealand tourism businesses to use 'the Qualmark' - tourism's official 'quality mark', only when the highest standards of operational excellence are met.


AdventureMark™ is a JAS-ANZ accredited and WorkSafe NZ approved Certification Body for its Blue AdventureMark™ Certification under the New Zealand Adventure Activities Certification Scheme. AdventureMark New Zealand has certified Franz Josef Glacier Guides to the following standards:

The Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016. This is a regulation administered by the government that all New Zealand adventure activities operators must hold.

We conduct ongoing self-assessments of our systems and our guiding team to ensure not just a safe experience, but a quality one.

If you require copies of our Health and Safety certifications these can be found here:

Certificate of Insurance 2021 /2022

Qualmark Gold Certification

AdventureMark Adventure Regulations audit

Staff Training

A great safety culture is one of the most important aspects of Franz Glacier Guides staff and training.

New employees go through a rigorous set of training and assessments. This takes several weeks before they start a guiding apprenticeship under our senior staff.

Training, reviews and assessments are on-going for all staff no matter how long they have been in the business. Our guides are all fully trained in First Aid and carry a First Aid kit with them on every tour.

Our guides either hold the Hard Ice Guide (HIG) certification or are working towards it. This certification is conducted through the internationally recognised New Zealand Mountain Guides Association (NZMGA).

Our business along with other New Zealand glacier guiding companies, were key drivers in developing the glacier guiding qualifications pathway, in collaboration with the NZMGA

What is the Risk?

As with all adventure activities, there is an element of risk.

Approximately 0.01% of our customers are involved in an incident. This includes minor incidents where no harm occurs.

Rock, ice, debris fall and avalanche risk have been calculated as being between 0.00015% and 0.00058%. This risk is similar to all risks encountered while walking the Tongariro Alpine crossing in New Zealand or climbing Mt Snowdon in the UK. Franz Josef Glacier Guides continue to monitor this risk and update our clients accordingly.

20% of customer incidents are a direct result of pre-existing medical conditions. Factors, such as heart conditions, abnormal blood pressure and joint conditions and a lack of physical fitness can affect capacity to safely take part in a glacier trip and in turn increase the possibility of sustaining an injury while participating in a trip. If any of these medical conditions apply to you, please state them on the risk disclosure that will be supplied to you by our check in team. If you have any concerns about how your medical may affect your ability to participate in the trip, feel free to contact a guide to discuss how you can have a safe and enjoyable trip via +64102436985