GLACIER VALLEY WALK
Discover the legend of Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere.
Please note: due to conditions of the Waiho river we are currently unable to operate our Valley Walk. Conditions are being reassessed on a regular basis and we hope to be operating this tour again shortly. In the meantime please contact our team on 0800 484 337 or +64 3 752 0763 for the latest information. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Hike the ancient path of where the glacier once stood; through lush rainforest and alongside the Waiho river. Discover the legends and history of the glacier and learn all about the flora and fauna you encounter along the way.
Your guide will lead you on an informative journey through this unique valley, with plenty of opportunities to explore the remarkable landscape and see what the glacier has left behind.
Experience pristine waterfalls, ancient temperate rainforest and the dynamic Waiho river. After a brief climb you will be rewarded with views of the glacier’s constantly changing terminal face and enjoy a well-deserved hot drink.
An ideal option for those who prefer to stay off the ice, our Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk can be tailored to suit groups of most abilities and interests.
Child (ages 6 – 16)
Up to 3 hours
Guide to guest ratio
1 to 26
A three hour guided walk through the glacier valley floor with your experienced and knowledgeable guide.
A leisurely pace through a remarkable landscape with plenty of photo opportunities.
Rainforest and valley views
It’s awesome being able to pass on my knowledge of this unique and beautiful environment, and to share the legend of Kā Roimata ō Hine Hukatere with our guests. "
CAN I DO IT?
Our Glacier Valley Walk can be tailored to suit most abilities and interests.
Because our Glacier Valley Walk is based on the valley floor, rather than up on the ice of the glacier, this trip is suitable for a wide range of abilities.
The track we take covers varied terrain including lose rocks and uneven ground as well as well-formed paths through the rainforest. There are likely to be some shallow river crossings with a chance you'll get wet feet, so we recommend wearing the hiking boots and socks provided in order to keep your own footwear dry to change back into upon return. We also provide trekking poles if required however most of our guests have little difficulty navigating the terrain. Your experienced guide will be sure to find the most suitable and safe route for your trip based on the ability of your group.
Most of your Glacier Valley Walk will take place across flat or undulating terrain, with some short climbs along the way. If you're comfortable walking for an hour or two with frequent stops then you will most likely be capable of participating in this trip.
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
Get the most out of your Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk.
We want all of our guests to have the best possible time on our Glacier Valley Walk experience. We provide all the gear and equipment you need to stay warm and safe while exploring the valley floor and ask that you come prepared with suitable clothing and accessories that will keep you comfortable as well.
- Suitable walking boots and socks
- Trekking poles
- Waterproof jackets
- Waterproof over-pants
- A small waist pack to carry essentials
- A warm hat and gloves
Please bring with you:
- Warm, breathable base layers such as merino or polypropelene
- Suitable long pants for walking in (jeans are not suitable, tracksuits and leggings are fine)
- 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 (we have lockers available for hire)
Thinking of heading to the Hot Pools after your trip? Remember to bring your swimming gear with you, you can store your belongings in our lockers for $2. Towel hire is also available for $5 at reception.
Excellent knowledgeable guide. Good to get access off the main track. And good hot chocolate!
It was a highly unique experience with excellent local and geological information provided by the guide.
It was incredibly informative and I learnt so much that I wouldn't have learnt if I had walked the main track, it gave a real insight.
FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER HOT POOLS
Your glacier trip includes access to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools. What better way to relax after a day in the valley than in the rejuvenating warmth of our hot pools?
Your experience with us would not be complete without spending some time reflecting on your adventure in the relaxing surroundings of the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools. Entry to the main pools is complimentary with your Franz Josef Glacier Guides experience, and access to the pools is through the same reception area that you check in for your Glacier Guides experience.
The hot pools are intimately nestled in the lush surrounds of native rainforest and offer three main pools of varying temperatures in which to unwind. As well the three main pools, our facility also offers three private pools available to Franz Josef Glacier Guides' guests for the exclusive upgrade rate of $41.
Our spa and massage facilities are just the thing for aching muscles; treat yourself to a relaxing massage from one of our therapists or an uplifting facial treatment. The perfect end to an unforgettable day.
We adhere to the highest safety standards to ensure ongoing safety for both our guests and our team.
We will be delighted to welcome you as a guest on our Glacier Valley Walk provided you:
- Are not pregnant
- Are over the age of 6 years old
- 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 Valley Walk. 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
- Severe asthma
In addition to this, our lead guides may need to restrict guest participation on a Glacier Valley Walk based on the specific conditions of the glacier valley on the day. Our front line team are always happy to provide an update on conditions on the morning of your trip.
The dramatic weather that shapes our beautiful landscape on the West Coast can also impact the ability to operate our experiences. The Glacier Valley Walk operates in most conditions including rain, although occasionally we will have to cancel a trip if extremely bad conditions or high winds are forecast. 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 in full and you'll be notified by email on the morning of your trip if it is cancelled. You are welcome to come into our glacier base building to reschedule your trip or arrange your refund directly with our friendly reservations team.
The weather is incredibly changeable in our region and we want to give you the very best chance of getting onto your trip. Therefore, we make the final call as to whether a trip is going ahead on the morning of your scheduled trip departure.