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“Exhilarating Experience on Franz Josef Glacier”

Franz Josef Glacier Guides
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$56.32*
and up
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
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$337.16*
and up
Heli-Hike Franz Josef Glacier Walk
Ranked #2 of 11 Tours in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gen of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers.Franz Josef Glacier Guides gives you the opportunity to experience the most spectacular glacier environment available to the general public anywhere in the world, offering a range of glacier hiking tours to suit all levels of fitness and ability.We make a clear commitment to you that our trip is the most spectacular and rewarding available.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

The Ice Explorer excursion on the Franz Josef Glacier was one of the highlights of our tour of New Zealand. The helicopter ride over the glacial moraine onto the glacier was a thrill in itself, but the three hour walk on the glacier was fantastic. All necessary gear from crampons to waterproof pants and boots were provided. Our guide's goal was to provide us with a memorable experience, and Jenna surpassed our expectations by leading us through a safe but adventuresome journey into ice caves and through ice tunnels. The cost may have been high, but the memory will last us a lifetime!

Thank PeteA49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (1,361)
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1,149 - 1,153 of 1,361 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2013

The helicopter flight over the glacier is brief but amazing with excellent views with good commentary from the pilot. Views on the glacier are also excellent. The hike itself is very short but they try to give you a feel for what it is like hiking / climbing on ice in crampons. There is a beautiful waterfall at top and some small ice caves for photo opportunities. Very expensive, but if you can spare the money it is an excellent adventure.

Thank AmyWren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

When we committed to the NZ$400 per person price for the helicopter trip and 3 hour glacier walk, I nearly choked at the price. At the end of the tour I decided it was a bargain. This is one you really should do. It is a very well organized and highly efficient operation, and our guide was knowledgeable and responsive to all the questions from our group. We received a short orientation in the ticket office before being marched across the street by a young lady who was perhaps a bit too cold and efficient; there we received a more detailed orientation and donned the provided jackets, socks, boots, and fanny pack. Then we were led to the helicopter landing area, where copters were flitting back and forth carrying groups of 5 up to the glacier.

The ride up was a thrill; it was not just a direct flight, but the pilot was careful to make passes left and right over the interesting formations so everyone could get a good look and good photos. After landing on the ice our guide led the ten of us on a hike unlike any we have ever had. We saw little glacial streams, climbed through a short ice cave, went up fairly close to a waterfall, and drank cold, clear glacier water flowing out the side of a huge block of ice. The guide pointed out several formations in the ice and explained how they were formed. The metal contraptions that attach to the boots seemed to make walking on the ice fairly safe, and we felt comfortable in them after only a few steps.

The flight back down on the helicopter was almost as thrilling as the flight up. This was one of our top two or three experiences during our three weeks in New Zealand, and I highly recommend it to you.

1  Thank Charlie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

I can't overstate how much we enjoyed our heli hike up onto Franz Joseph Glacier. The helicopter trip afforded us amazing views of the glacier, but the hike itself, lasting around two hours, was absolutely awesome. Our guide, Dale, was excellent, very enthusiastic and very well informed. It was reasonably challenging, involving a fair bit of climbing (with crampons) and crawling through crevices and ice tunnels. However, the real privilege was being so close to nature at its most raw. Honestly, one of the most incredible experiences of our trip.

Thank Alastair F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

If you do nothing else in NZ take a Heli Hike with the Franz Josef Guides. We went up the glacier by helicopter which was fantastic in itself. We were met by a superb guide called Dale who was informed, enthusiastic and motivational. We walked and climbed for nearly three hours seeing ice tunnels, waterfalls and fantastic cravasses. The helicopter then came and took us back down. Easily one of the most exciting and worthwhile things I have ever done. Great value for money as well. Make sure you do it. All the clothing you need provided and a goody back including a DVD when you land.

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

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