Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier

This part of  the trip enjoys the Fox Glacier region and much, much more. There's some fine walks and rides round the area and you will find the fresh air just keeps you going! You might even strike it rich round here as the area near the coast is rich in Jade and the playful Hector dolphins are also often spotted.

If the glacier sounds a bit chilly for you then Lake Matheson has some great walks and is an excellent spot to sit and take in fantastic views. It's another beachside campsite tonight and songs around the camp fire could be the order of the day!

About the Fox Glacier area:

Near Whataroa, on the shores of the Okarito Lagoon, is New Zealand's only nesting colony of the white heron (kotuku). Boat trips on this primeval swamp reveal these elegant birds in their natural glory. Graded glacier trips at both Fox and Franz Josef accommodate every level of fitness and experience, and there are scenicflights and helicopter excursions for those who wish to view the glaciers from the air.

Here are some handy facts about the glacier (content from

  • The mighty Fox Glacier is the largest and longest of the magnificent West Coast glaciers.
  • It is remarkable in that it ends in temperate rainforest, 250 metres above sea level and a mere twelve kilometres from the sea.
  • There are more 3,000m (10,000ft) peaks at the head of the Fox Glacier, than in any other valley in New Zealand.
  • The Fox Glacier, like all glaciers, advances and retreats. Evidence of the lastest surge forward can be seen in the bulging lower ice fall.
  • The  Maori who named the glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe. This name derived from a tupuna (ancestor) Tu Awe who fell to his death while exploring the area. The bed of Te Moeka o Tuawe became his moeka (final resting place). It is said that when his lover Hine Hukatere wept, the bed of the valley filled with her everlasting tears of ice.

Optional activities:

  • Terminal Face Walk
  • Half day Guided Heli Hike

Walk options:

Some excellent walks thoughout the day not forgetting the Glacier hike. There's a few walks of around 30 mins and don't forget to ask the guide about checking for Dolphins and Jade!!

Cycling options:

For riders theres plenty of options today including coastal rides with varying distances from sort to 56km.