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Fox Glacier Guiding
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Fox Glacier
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: It's our privilege to guide you on the West Coast's largest and less crowded glacier. It is one of New Zealand's truly natural wonders. Whether you are walking, heli-hiking or ice-climbing with us in this incredible environment, we can promise you a memory you'll cherish. We have a long guiding history on the glacier (guided walks first started in 1928). Those years of accumulated knowledge and experience mean weare able to guide you with complete confidence. You can rest assured we take your safety and comfort very seriously. Come and enjoy our friendly West Coast hospitality, experience the mighty Fox Glacier with us and create a lifetime memory. We have glacier trips suitable for most fitness levels and ages including children from 9 yrs. Our informative Glacier Terminal Face walk is suitable for children from 5 yrs or for those who would find the walks onto the glacier too strenuous.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed November 25, 2012 via mobile

The guides and tour organisation were great and very friendly. The Glacier itself is however far from impressive. It's about half the size it was 3 years ago. We wanted the full day trip but as it was sold out we settled for the half day. The only difference is how far up the Glacier you go (100 mtrs probably) . The full day tour is literally stalling by taking a detour getting on the Glacier to fill up the day.

That said it was just lame on there, walking around on melting ice scattered with pieces of rock. If I'd had known up front I'd have droven past this highlight.

Final tip, even though the lonely Planet mentions hiking tours up on the Franz jozef Glacier this is not possible. You can only get up there with a heli which will set you back 250+.

1  Thank Crasten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoxGlacierGuiding, Guest Relations Manager at Fox Glacier Guiding, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2012

Thank you for your comments regarding your recent experience with us and we were pleased to hear that your contact with our team was a positive one.

We do regret to hear however that you were disappointed that your trip of choice, the Nimble Fox All Day Walk was fully booked.

Globally one of the unique features about Fox Glacier is that it terminates at 250m in a temperate rainforest. The “detour” you mentioned is actually a walk climbing through the rainforest, providing some spectacular views and extra educational value, not to mention making it a wonderful way to get to the glacier. But it does indeed take longer than the half day walk access trail. We believe this adds value to the all day walk and also time allows for it.

The ebbs and flows of a glacier mean that features on it are continually changing so we cannot guarantee what you will see on any given day. Our guides are highly trained to seek features out safely, it is with regret what you saw on your walk fell short meet of your expectations.

As you alluded to, presently Fox Glacier is the only West Coast glacier that has safe access onto the ice via foot for Half and All Day Guided Walks. Consequently we are experiencing an increased demand for these walks and regrettably there are occasions when demand is exceeding supply resulting in disappointment. We always recommend a booking plenty of time in advance.

Once again thank you for your comments and we sincerely hope that you will be able to return one day to experience your trip of choice.

Many thanks, Jo, Fox Glacier Guiding

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Reviewed November 21, 2012 via mobile

We did ice climbing in Fox Glacier. Our tour guide Tim was great and did the best for us to have a great day. The glacier is very nice and the ice climbing was good at least for us that was our first experience. I will prefer this activity than the normal tours as they look very crowded and I don't think you can feel in the same way the nature. We had fun overall. The only thing is the price as it was around 500 NZD ( 2 people ) which is near the country prices. I will recommend this to my friends anyway as u will remember and have lots of pics and memories.

1  Thank GarricsBarcelona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2012

Did the Fox Trot - half day trek during my trip around south island.
Was the first day the sky was totally cloud free so the views were awesome and ironically once up on the glacier was the only time on my trip when it was sunny/warm enough to not to need a jacket.
The guide was very knowledgeable on the history and workings of the glacier and when we had reached the ice field and put the crampons on we had sufficient time to walk around it and see the features.

Thank Turin74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

Booked the Nimble Fox all day tour, and it was stunning. We took the ride up to the parking lot, learning some of the history of the glacier and the hotel that first began offering guided trips up the glacier (they were free, but if I remember correctly, you had to spend a week at the hotel!). Upon arrival our bus split into two separate groups (each with two guides), so I randomly picked the line on the left. When I met our guide Brian and he said he was from Red Lodge, Montana (USA), I instantly knew it was going to be an amazing trip. For anyone who has never been, the Beartooth Mountains between Cooke City, MT and Red Lodge, MT are about as spectacular a hiking area as you'll ever find in the USA (plus it's pretty empty since the crowds are all drawn to the nearby Yellowstone). We talked about hiking in Montana and he told me I needed to check Sundance Pass when I told him I planned on returning to the Beartooths to do a few days of backpacking.

Our second guide, Scott (a native Kiwi), was awesome to talk to also. He was a great resource for hiking information for the South Island and had some good beer recommendations too (I love trying beers in new places). Both Scott and Brian were extremely knowledgeable about the area and pointed out to us how the glacier has changed over the years, where some of the earlier tracks were, the first hut, etc.

The trip started off with a really beautiful rainforest hike that could get a little steep in parts, but was still reasonably easy (there was never any kind of rush, as the pace was pretty relaxed and enjoyable). Some nice streams and lots of great ferns all over the place. I mean, how cool is it to walk through a rain forest to get to an enormous glacier?

After a while we exited the forest and just had a jaw-dropping view of the glacier, from the lower sections up to the upper ice falls, with a couple of beautiful peaks in the background and looking out to the steep walls that the glacier reached up less than 100 years ago. I do have to say the trekking poles aren't very useful (don't know why I grabbed one; I hate using them when I hike), so I won't take one next time. The lower section of the glacier was some great walking and it was so amazing to finally be on this great river of ice. It just blew my mind when I would slide some of the surface slush off and then see I was standing on this giant 80 meter thick ice cube. I barely even touched the water in my camelbak, since I could just constantly scoop pure water out of crevasses and from streams all over the ice. Just amazing seeing the blue ice down crevasses and in caves.

We came to a rockfall area and stopped for lunch, since we were a few hours in and since it was a dry place to sit down with a great view of the bottom of the ice falls. After lunch is when the trip really got amazing, as we entered the ice falls. Just spectacular views walking inside crevasses and up and down slopes as Brian did all the hard work cutting our path with a pickaxe. Brian found lots of interesting features such as crevasses, caves, moulins to show us and gave us all a helping hand when we got to places where we needed to make small hops.

Overall Brian did a great job keeping us in interesting yet safe areas; there has got to be a thousand places you could get yourself killed on this glacier if you don't know your way around. There was never a time when I felt worried about slipping into a crevasse, though my sunglasses weren't so fortunate (probably not a good idea to clip them to the neck of one's fleece when climbing down something, haha).

We climbed to a really beautiful high viewpoint in the ice falls at Scott's suggestion; just amazing views of blue/white ice stalagmite-looking formations all over. Then Brian took us to an ice cave, setting a line for us to climb up (there was also an amazing view up the rest of the crevasse we were hiking up here). Both Brian and Scott did a great job ensuring we went up only 1 or 2 at a time so that there was no danger of injury due to crowding.

The trip ended with a great hike down to the lower section of the glacier and then the nice level track between the moraine and the parking area. Overall I have to give the glacier an A+ grade and both guides, Brian and Scott, A+'s also. The Nimble Fox offered by Fox Glacier Guides is easily the best outdoor tour I have ever taken, and there is no way I would do a trip like this solo (just seems like it would be certain suicide doing a solo trip on such a huge and unfamiliar glacier). I will definitely have to return to do the ice climbing tour or perhaps an overnight trip, as I was really impressed by the company and by every employee I talked to (sadly, I missed out on meeting Tex, who EVERYONE told me about when I mentioned I was from Texas, haha).

I think I must have gotten at least 5 1/2 hours of ice time, and every second was great. It looked like everyone else had an amazing time too; no one looked like they were having trouble keeping up nor did anyone seem to think the trip was too slow either. Seems like it would be a difficult balance to strike, but everyone in the group seemed really satisfied.

4  Thank spurs f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

We haven´t got chance to go for a half day tour, but at least managed to get close to glacier on our own. We run out of time so we decide to walk to the nearest point to the glacier (200 m) and got really amazing views. It took us app. 60 min. walking from the parking place to the glacier and back. In comparison with Franz Josef Glacier is easily accessible and even more cheaper to get guided tour. (Franz-Josef is accessible by helicopter -landing on glacier so the price is really high). So if you are running on tight budget, definitely Fox Glacier .

3  Thank felllicita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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