Glacier Hiking in New Zealand

Heli Hike on Franz Josef Glacier Photo taken by: Franz Josef Glacier Guides (Flying Kiwi Traveller)

Glacier Hiking in New Zealand

One of the most stunning natural wonders of New Zealand has to be the Glaciers and Glacier Hiking is top on the list for many visitors.

The Franz Josef Glacier is a staggering beautiful work of nature is 12 kilometers and descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 meters above sea level. If you want to walk on the glacier you can do a Guided Heli Hike or Guided Heli Ice Climb. There is the option to walk to the base of the glacier at no charge or alternatively do the Guided Valley Walk and learn as you go. 

New Zealand's West Coast glaciers are unique and are probably the most accessible glaciers in the world, as they terminate among temperate rain-forest just 250 meters above sea level. Nowhere else does this happen! Glaciers constantly advance and retreat, held in the delicate balance by the accumulation of snow gained in the upper glacier and ice melting in the lower part. An increase in snowfall at the neve will result in the glacier advancing. Correspondingly, a faster melt will result in the glacier retreating. 

Guided Heli Hike - From $485

Take to the skies with an exhilarating helicopter ride followed by a two-hour hike through spectacular glacier features.

Starting from the glacier base in Franz Josef Village, you’ll get kitted out with all the essential gear before your guide leads you on a short walk through native forest where the helicopter is waiting.

After a thrilling scenic flight, high above the rugged terrain, you will land on the glacier, ready to undertake a two-hour guided glacier hike. Your friendly guide will lead you through some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring glacier scenery in the world.

Your guide will choose your route carefully as you go and, with an eye for the most spectacular ice formations, you’ll soon be making your way through an extraordinary landscape of towering peaks and glistening blue ice.

  • Fitness level required: low to moderate
  • Trip Duration: 3.5 hours