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Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

Northwich, United...
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Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

I think we have decided to go to the Franz Josef glacier, not Fox Glacier. I have read and re-read threads, posts from a few years back and and I in the end I've based it on cost as they seem quite similar (is this a mistake)? As our budget is limited for accommodation we will be staying in either YHA or Montrose backpackers in Franz Josef and the hot pools are based there so that's that really and as people have said accommodation in Fox on a budget is limited.

In terms of the glaciers, we are torn between the full day or the heli-hike. What we can't decide is on this, because as the heli-hike is a total trip of 3-4 hours long, are we limiting our time on the ice? Alternatively, is the full day trip the same amount of time on the ice, the extra hours are just the time spent taking to get there? We really want to know if the heli-hike is worth it (for nearly double in price) for the amount of ice time spent. We are both fit and the exercise doesn't worry us. Again the reason for Franz Josef is I read somewhere that the heli-hike was alot better here than on Fox but if you know any different.

Very confused . . . . any help or advice welcome.

Thanks

Rachel

Northwich, United...
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1. Re: Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

I've just realised we have another option re glaciers, is to do the full day glacier trip to Franz Josef or Fox (about $180ish, Franz Josef a bit cheaper) and then do a separate helicopter ride to see the opposite glacier that we did the day tour at, e.g. Fox you can do a scenic flight to either Fox or Franz Josef which is a 30 min flight for $195 each. If you add them two together it is $375, which is cheaper than the heli-hike which is only giving you a 4 hour trip in total. I think the beauty of this is that we can do both glaciers really, the full trip hike to Franz Josef and then the flight to see Fox. . . .

What do people think, could this be a better option - I know the scenic flight is literally just up, land on snow and back. . . . .

Greymouth, New...
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2. Re: Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

Wow, you have cetainly analysed it well. I am impressed.

With Helihiking, you spend time much higher up the Glacier. Even so, any time on the ice is stunning , awesome, fantastic (you get the drift) if you do a whole day hike and a helecoptor flight over the glacier, then im sure that would receive another surpurlative never thought of.

check out teh pics and vidieos on the following link,

there is helihiking, Fox glacier climb and parts of the helicoptor ride returning from Franz Heli hike

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26176760@N08/sets/72157621014871180/

also enjoy the hot pools afterward, and the drive up or down the West Coast

Northwich, United...
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3. Re: Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

OK, this is going to seem very random, but how does this sound. Do the full day hike over Franz Josef Glacier at $160, then instead of a glacier flight, do a tandem skydive over the glaciers $245, not much more expensive than a flight and quoted from the website "All our skydives include a unique scenic flight at no extra cost".

"Your flight includes views of West Coast rainforests including Lake Matheson and the Tasman Sea. New Zealand's Southern Alps soar upward, awsomely close and imposing beyond the canopy of ancient, giant trees. One moment you're near the wild sea, then next you're climbing beside snow-covered, craggy mountains. You fly to alpine altitudes, around New Zealand's tallest mountain, spectacular Mount Cook (Aoraki) and Mount Tasman at around 3,500 metres, and over the top of the nearby Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, giving you panoramic views of the most spectacular parts of the Southern Alps".

So, effectively we'd be getting longer on the plane, a full scenic flight. Only downside is I'd have to jump out of the plane!!!!! My friend is up for it (this would be her 3rd skydive), but having never done a skydive before I am thinking about it, but it seems such a good opportunity and really good value.

Has anyone done this?

Greymouth, New...
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4. Re: Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

No I havent done it

There is another post on here on the subject of winter white water rafting asking our opinion on their sanity. Maybe this question could raise similar questions, The standard comment seems to be 'why jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane?"

Well in my opininion, it sounds like a buz. You will have already got up close and personal to the glacier ice, so dont forget your camera and dont forget to try to use it, if even only from the perfectly good aeroplane.

There are so many things to do at Franz Joseph and Foz Glaciers, many are hidden gems as you are dicovering.

Go for it.

Northwich, United...
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5. Re: Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

Thanks, to be honest, yes I think my sanity has gone. I've just watched 5 different videos on you tube and it looks amazing and the plan has a perspex door so you can take photos on the 'free' scenic flight. To be honest, if I could find a flight that does all of what that does/goes and I didn't have to jump out of it for that price I'd go for that instead ;-) but I think this is really good value....

*ponders question, what if I get to 9000ft and can't jump out*

Never thought when stating this thread I'd be contemplating a skydive... mind you, it's on my 'list of things to do before I'm 30'

Greymouth, New...
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6. Re: Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

So if you have done all these things before you are thirty, what wil be the things to do for the next 30 or 60 years? life will be really boring if you dont keep jumping out of planes or off bridges with a rubber band tied to your feet. or are there other things on your mind.

report back after you have done the sky dive, really looking forward to your trip report

Northwich, United...
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7. Re: Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

Don't worry, I keep you all updated hopefully after I can say "I did it!"

This is the most exciting thing on my list. Oh, I'd like to do the London Marathon and climb Kilimanjaro, but that's not going to happen before I'm 30, I'm 29 in 2 months so I'll have plenty to keep me going!

I can't see to find an email for the skydive place over the glaciers though and I wanted to email them with some questions. I'm sure I'll find it somewhere.

Derby,UK
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8. Re: Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

Hi,

We've gone for Fox :-) The 4/5 half day hike sounded better than the Franz one. Also Lake Matheson is nearby for an early morning tramp.

We're hoping to have time for a Quad bike around the Franz area though on the way thru as another way of seeing that Glacier too.

Your sky dive sounds amazing though.. go for it. ;-)

Cheers...

Northwich, United...
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9. Re: Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

I know it's a really hard decision, we've only chose Franz on the basis of cost alone and it looked more challenging (I'll regret saying that). Quad biking will be great, I've done it here in the UK and it's a fun experience. . . Yep, agreed the skydive looks amazing as long as I don't bottle it!

Greymouth, New...
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10. Re: Heli-Hike or Day Trip and Ice Time

The quads at Franz follow through some ancient rain forrest, then oven out and travel down the river bed to examine terminal morain left behind by ancient glaciers. while there is a wee bit of 'mud and water' they do provide wet weather gear and gumboots so you dont destroy your own clothes.

They do a much longer treak right out to the sea, but i have not done that trip. Tey even provide morning tea, while you look back at the mountains and Glacier.