Hiking on glaciers in New Zealand’s South Island has been a favorite activity for tourists for a significant amount of time, particularly for those who are traveling to the West Coast.
The Fox Glacier & the Franz Josef Glacier, which are both considered to be among the most approachable glaciers in all of New Zealand, are situated in close proximity to one another.
Although the experience of trekking on glaciers has evolved significantly over the past twenty years, it is still widely considered to be among the most enjoyable things that can be done in New Zealand.
Both glaciers, like many others throughout the world, have been receding for a number of years now. New Zealand visa for US citizens is available online for those Americans who wanted to explore the beauty of these glaciers.
Fox Glacier is often considered to be New Zealand’s most well-known glacier and is also one of the easiest to access. Approximately thirteen kilometres in length, it may be found within the Westland Tai Poutini National Park and discharges into the River Fox.
During the most recent period of glacial activity, the glacier’s ice extended all the way to the seashore. It is the glacier in the country that receives the greatest number of visitors on professionally guided tours, and there is a multitude of tour operators and possibilities to get there.
You are in for a truly unforgettable experience, whether you choose to hike through the breathtaking blue ice caves and deep crevasses or take in the scenery from the air with GO Play partners like Air Safaris and Fox Franz Heliservices. Either way, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to see this incredible landscape.
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Franz Josef Glacier
The Franz Josef Glacier, which is located on South Island on the west coast, is widely regarded as the crown jewel of New Zealand’s glaciers. The fact that this breathtaking glacier stretches for 12 kilometers and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Area should give you some idea of the significance and beauty of the location.
It should come as no surprise that Franz Josef, along with nearby Fox Glacier, is one of the most popular destinations for vacationers along the West Coast. Even if you don’t make it up onto the ice itself, just taking a look around this breathtaking location will be well worth your time.
The guided excursions, on the other hand, are a tonne of fun and often run anywhere from two and a half to three and a half hours; during that time, you might even see some lakes, rivers, forests, and beaches. In the past 20 years, you were able to go up the valley to the face of the glacier and access the ice directly on foot.
However, this is no longer possible. On the other hand, today you will begin your journey to the glacier in a helicopter, which in and of itself is a rather exhilarating experience.
Because Franz and Fox are the two glaciers in New Zealand that attract the most visitors, you should make sure that your next vacation takes place on the West Coast.
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The third glacier on our list is one of the largest of its kind, and it certainly does not disappoint. The Tasman Glacier is unquestionably the largest glacier in New Zealand. It spans a distance of 23 kilometers, can be as wide as 4 kilometers, and has a thickness of up to 600 meters in certain areas.
You can still go on seasonal heli-hikes and guided tours between the months of July and September, despite the fact that the tourism industry is not quite as prominent here as it is at the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers.
If you are an experienced alpine hiker, you also have the option of choosing to hike the Ball Hut Route, which is a track that takes between three and four hours to complete and offers breathtaking views of the largest glacier in the country.