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“Star Guide!”

Franz Josef Glacier Guides
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Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
Ranked #2 of 11 Tours in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Melksham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Star Guide!”
Reviewed April 14, 2014

I'll admit that I was really nervous prior to this trip and was having second thoughts but we'd already paid so I had to get on with it!

You get all the gear so you just need to turn up. The helicopter trip to the top was great, we got to sit in the front on the way up :-)

At the top we were met by our guide Brett. What a great chap he is. We got our cramp-on's on and off we went, following Brett along the ice. We got to climb up some ice holes, in fact we also got to go down one, unfortunately I got a bit stuck in the puddle at the bottom but Brett was on hand to pull me out!

It was a really great experience and we were so lucky with the weather as it was bright sunshine when we were up there, in fact the cloud started to come in just as we were finishing up.

I was a bit unsteady at times on the ice and Brett could sense this and made me walk behind him so that I could walk in his footsteps. This made it much easier for me so he was doing a great job.

In summary, it is expensive but it is an opportunity you probably won't have again so I would 100% recommend it.

Visited January 2014
Thank 101ED
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
130 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“A must do!”
Reviewed April 13, 2014

Such an enjoyable day - our first attempt had to be cancelled due to poor weather so we went the following day. Felt very safe the whole time, as our guide was constantly watching and advising where we stepped and counting to make sure everyone was present. We've been on group activities where the guide doesn't pay attention until the end so this was a welcome change. They provided all gear necessary. Breathtaking views, an absolute must do!

Visited February 2014
Thank 7_Fitz7_7_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good trip, not personalised”
Reviewed April 8, 2014 via mobile

We chose the ice Explorer option including a helicopter ride up on to the glacier. We both really enjoyed the trip, but some of the advertising is misleading. The group size was 11 to one, which I would personally not call a small group, and there was no attempt made to tailor the trip to the abilities of the group, or match those of similar abilities.
Overall, if you have little tramping experience it would be perfect, but for experienced outdoors enthusiasts it was a bit slow and tame.

Visited April 2014
Thank NavmanDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
88 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“The highlight of our trip...Heli-Hike”
Reviewed April 5, 2014

This was a great experience!!!! No need to worry about the gear..it's all provided for you ... boots, socks, pants, coat, a pack to carry items in...along with crampons...(Ice cleats). It was well organized from waiting at the main center down to getting your gear. Bring water and snacks or a lunch. Don't miss an opportunity to refill your water bottle with glacier water...cool and delicious.
Once you get your gear, you'll fly out to the glacier on a helicopter....what an experience....the pilot will take you on a route that will allow you to see great views of the glacier and the surrounding areas before landing on the ice.
You will then meet your guide and start your hike....there's a good chance that you'll be too warm to wear all of the clothes you have on....1. dress in layers.....2. be prepared for changes in the weather. You'll hike all over the place....we lucked out and climbed through an ice cave. We are active 68 years olds and didn't have any problems at all...we were able to keep up with the group. It was well organized, fun and challenging...We had a GREAT guide, her name is Kat...she's Russian/Canadian and she knows her stuff....she has a great sense of humor and is a lot of fun. She said we reminded her of your parents:)
One thing to know is that you may want to go for the earlier trip because many times they have to cancel trips because of the weather. The group that was suppose to come after us was cancelled because of a front coming in. We could see it....awesome....Part of the trip is free admission to the hot springs...don't miss it...

Visited February 2014
Thank Shelly S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A great experience. ”
Reviewed April 3, 2014 via mobile

I did the Ice Explorer with my fiancee and had a great time. You need to wear something other than jeans (I wore some old track suit pants) and about 3 layers on top, they will give you all the rest of the gear you need, including thick socks, which is very comfortable + a large bum bag to put a camera and snack in. It's a short walk down the street to the helipad and about a 6 min helicopter ride to the bottom of the glacier. Our guide Rob meet us there and showed us how to put on our crampons and then we started the climb. The hike is described as 'moderate' difficulty but I had no problems at all even though I'm unfit. We got to see an ice cave and walk through a few tight crevasses. It was a lot of fun and the views are very picturesque. We met the helicopter at the bottom of the glacier again and then a short trip back down the valley to the town. I would love to do it again, the only thing I was slightly disappointed about was the helicopter didn't take us on a quick tour via the top of the glacier. Having experience in the scenic flight business I know this would have added minimal cost to the trip and would have made an awesome trip a spectacular trip.

1 Thank 73Ant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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