The Franz Josef Glacier is maybe a bit more spectacular than the Fox Glacier. The town near Franz Josef is a bit touristy – while the Fox Glacier town is a bit less touristy and a bit more relaxed. Touring the Franz Josef Glacier is a bit more expensive than its counterpart just down the road, the Fox Glacier.
You can hire guiding companies to take you out onto either glacier. One such company recommended for Fox Glacier is Alpine Guides offering Glacier Walks & Ice Adventures. Choose from a variety of trips ranging from half day, to full day to Helicopter rides over the glacier. The half day walk is a good introduction to walking on the glacier. Dress warmly, including gloves and a beanie cap. The weather can really vary on these trips – it might be raining or completely sunny. A pre carved trail has already been cut into the glacier by the guides – small 4 point crampons and boots are included with the trek.
Our guide on the half day trip, Matt was an excellent guide, very attentive to the needs of the clients on the walk. This was the first trip onto the glacier in like two weeks as part of the glacier had collapsed and had completely destroyed the old trail. Cold windy and rainy was the atmosphere on the glacier during our hike. The hike into the Glacier is at least an hour with about 60 to 90 minutes of actual glacier walking time. For more information about Alpine Guides – visit: www.foxguides.co.nz
Franz Josef Glacier Guides is a good company for trekking on the Franz Josef Glacier. For more information visit: www.franzjosefglacier.com
Note that you can walk near the glacier from the car park for free. Its about a 45 minute walk to the closest glacier overlook.
Franz Josef Glacier Photos