The Franz Josef glacier is one of, if not the best glacier environment in the world which is available to the general public. There has also never been a better time to take a tour of the Franz Josef glacier as it currently goes through its biggest state of change since records began. Exploring the glacier is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip to New Zealand and also offers up the opportunity to take a helicopter flight as part of your adventure. The Franz Josef glacier is located on the rugged West Coast of the South Island and is a great place to visit whatever your travel plans.
The best news for anyone thinking of a trip to the Franz Josef Glacier is that Franz Josef Glacier Guides are a partner in our GO Play programme which gives all GO Rentals customers a 10% discount which is a pretty sweet deal.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tours on the Franz Josef Glacier.
Glacier Heli Hike
Once upon a time you could get up onto the Franz Josef Glacier from the base of the glacier with a guide but the ice at the bottom of the glacier is now too unstable to walk on so all tours on the glacier begin with a helicopter flight which is pretty exciting! You can be up on the ice in as little as 5 minutes and the Glacier Heli Hike tour allows you around 3 hours on the ice which is plenty of time to go exploring. This also leaves you around an hour for a scenic helicopter flight which will take you high above the glacier and give you some stunning views over the ice.
The hike itself is done in small groups of around 12 and will be tailored to the fitness of the whole group. If you’re all feeling energetic, you can see a lot of the ice and the expert guides are the best around when it comes to cutting out steps in the ice and discovering hidden ice caves. The temperature up on the ice is only a couple of degrees colder than down in the village making this a pleasant way to explore a glacier without freezing your bits off!
This is without a doubt one of the cheapest and best ways to explore one of the world’s most accessible and exciting glaciers. There aren’t many tour where you will get the opportunity to see blue ice up close and personal so make sure you add this to your New Zealand to do list.
Glacier Valley Walk
If you are on a budget but still want to get close to the glacier and find out more about the history, then the Glacier Valley Walk could be right up your street. This three hour return walk will take you all the way to the terminal face of the glacier and your guide will be able to talk you through the changes that have occurred at Franz Josef over the thousands of years since the glacier was formed. Towards the end of the walk you will climb high and be rewarded with a spectacular view of the ever changing terminal face.
No trip is ever the same and the Glacier Valley Walk will take you on some exclusive trails and paths. Whilst you may not get up on the ice itself, if you are limited for time or on a budget, this is still a great way to explore the Franz Josef Glacier and you also get the bonus of free entry to the Glacier Hot Pools at the end of the walk. Winner!
Heli Ice Climb
For the most adventurous GO Explorer, the Heli Ice Climb is a great introduction to ice climbing as well as an awesome opportunity to take a scenic helicopter flight above the glacier. Glacier climbing in New Zealand is considered to be some of the best in the world and nowhere is it more accessible than at the Franz Josef Glacier. You don’t need any previous experience to give this trip a try and if you are looking for something pretty unique out of your trip to New Zealand, this could be it! Under the expert guide of some of New Zealand’s most experience ice climbers, you will learn the skills and techniques you need to navigate your way up and down the glacier walls, giving you access to ice caves that are inaccessible to all other tours.
As with all tour run by Franz Josef Glacier Guides, if you book with GO Rentals you will score a 10% discount making this an even better experience. You can use the money you save to get the awesome pictures you take blown up once you get home!
Glacier Hot Pools
If you book on any of the tour run by Franz Josef Glacier Guides, you will not only get a 10% discount using your GO Play card but you’ll also get FREE entry to the Glacier Hot Pools. After a day spent exploring the ice and using muscles you didn’t even know you had, there is no better way to end the day than taking a relaxing dip in the natural hot pools which are set in the heart of the rainforest. There are three main pools to enjoy and the pools are suitable for visitors of all ages.
Here’s another bonus if you book with GO Rentals. Even if you can’t make it on one of the Franz Josef Glacier tours, you can still score a 10% discount at Glacier Hot Pools as they are yet another of our awesome GO Play partners. Pretty amazing!
Exploring the glaciers is a definite highlight for many of our GO Explore fans and with so many options available, there should be something to suit all budgets and adventure levels.
Find out more about Franz Josef Glacier Guides and Glacier Hot Pools and book with your GO Play card today.
Best of Franz Josef Glacier Social
Here are a few of our favourite pics from the Franz Josef Glacier Guides Instagram page to get you in the mood!
Book a vehicle for this trip
- 5 seats
- Large Bags
- Small Bags
- Auto trans