Enjoy a spectacular helicopter flight over rugged terrain
Two short 5-minute transfer flights to and from the glacier
Embark on a two hour guided hike on the ice
Discover New Zealand's famous Franz Josef glacier
Explore the area with a professional, experienced guide
Enjoy exclusive access to the glacier
Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains
Relax with complimentary access to Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools
Why do we love this
"We love this tour because it ticks off two major New Zealand activities. A scenic helicopter flight AND a glacier exploration! These are must-do experiences in New Zealand!"
WHAT TO EXPECT
Are you ready for a day on the ice? Discover New Zealand's famous glacier landscape, explore Franz Josef Glacier and embark on a hike through the snow and ice.
This Franz Josef Glacier helicopter tour is a once in a lifetime experience that you simply can't miss. Combining a helicopter ride with a hike means you get to see the best of Franz Josef, from the sky and the land! You'll enjoy views of wild, icy terrain and the towering mountains around you.
Franz Josef Glacier is considered the gem of New Zealand's West Coast Glaciers. There are very few glaciers left in the world which are accessible to the public so what you'll see on this tour is really special!
Your journey starts at the glacier base in Franz Josef Village where the friendly team will check you in, get you kitted out with the essential gear and give you a pre-trip briefing.
From here, your guide will lead you on a short walk through native forest to the helipad. From the moment you step on board the chopper, the excitement begins. Sit back as your experienced and highly trained pilot whisks you away, up and over the jaw-dropping landscape.
You'll have the opportunity to take in the full panoramic majesty of Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere nestled within the surrounding mountains.
After a thrilling flight, it's time for a glacier landing. Take some time to check out the views before you begin your 3-hour glacier hike. Accompanied by a professional guide, you'll learn about this incredible landscape as you go. Get ready to see some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring glacier scenery in the world!
Your guide will choose your route carefully as you go, making sure you see all the highlights of this beautiful place. Keep an eye out for spectacular ice formations as you make your way through the towering peaks and glistening blue ice. It's a changing landscape here, and you might find yourself sliding through narrow crevasses, between towering walls of ice, crawling through blue ice tunnels and hanging out in ice caves.
You'll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and have plenty of photo opportunities along the way. During your hike your guide will also tell the story of Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere and will share their knowledge of the glacier and surrounding area. You'll learn why Franz Josef is so unique and will come away from your trip with a new understanding of why this landmark is so special.
After your hike, relax and enjoy your free access to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools! The perfect spot to warm up and rejuvenate after your icy adventure.
And don't worry if the weather is bad - if your trip is cancelled due to weather, Franz Josef Glacier Guides can transfer you onto the Glacier Valley Walk on the same day. There's no obligation to participate and you can cancel at any time!
Please come prepared for chilly temperatures. Wear 2-4 warm upper body layers, ideally woollen or polypro (not cotton), quick drying trousers or shorts (no jeans). You'll also need to bring food and drink for the day and sunglasses, sunscreen and a camera.
What is provided:
Suitable walking boots and socks
A small waist pack to carry your crampons and essentials
A warm hat and gloves
Please bring with you:
Warm, breathable base layers such as merino or polypropylene
Suitable long pants for walking in (jeans are not suitable, tracksuits and leggings are fine)
Sunglasses (these are essential - if you don't have any with you we have a selection available for purchase at our front desk)
Your own warm hat and gloves if you prefer
Your camera or phone
A small water bottle and snack if you need one
Please leave the following items behind:
Your valuables such as passport, wallet and car keys (we have lockers available for hire)
Please note that the bookings are processed manually. Please chat to us before making the booking as your booking will be confirmed only once confirmed by the tour operator.
You are welcome to wear your own good quality ankle supporting hiking boots with our crampons, or you can choose to wear the boots that we provide. Our boots are comfortable and warm and ensure you don't damage your own boots when strapping on your crampons. If you choose to wear your own boots, bring them in for a fitting the evening prior to your tour departure to see if they are suitable.
You will not need to bring a backpack as the maximum time spent on the ice is 4 hours. We will provide you with a small bum bag so that you can carry a camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, water and a snack. There is limited space in the helicopter so please limit what you bring. Please do not bring iPods, wallets, phones or keys.
Blue ice is a major highlight of a glacier tour. You have a good chance of seeing blue ice on our Heli Hike tour as the helicopter will land high up on the glacier allowing you to explore some of the best bits the Glacier has to offer.
The temperature on the ice is typically only about 1-2 degrees cooler than in town but due to the nature of the environment the temperature can be very changeable and we recommend wearing 2-4 warm layers of upper body clothing depending on the conditions on the day.
It is the high annual rainfall in the Glacier region (6-8 metres per year) that allows the glaciers to grow and without the rain, these magnificent glaciers would not be here. We do provide you with the best in rain protection including Goretex Rain Jackets and waterproof over trousers.
Sometimes the weather means that helicopters can't fly; heavy rain, high wind, low cloud. If your tour is cancelled due to these reasons, Franz Josef Glacier Guides will automatically transfer you onto our Glacier Valley Walk the same day. There is no obligation to participate and you can cancel at any time. We just want to make sure you don't miss out on a great glacier experience.
Can I access the pools one day and do the Heli Hike on the next day?
Yes it is possible but you will have to pay a cash deposit of NZD $21. This has to be payed just because there is always the possibility that the Heli Hike is cancelled due to bad weather, in which case you will get a full refund, but if you have already visited the pools you will get a partial refund.
A water-proof jacket
Water-proof over trousers
Weather-proof hiking boots
A small waist bag. This is the only bag you will be able to take, and is capable of storing your water bottle, snack and camera
Extra layers if you should need them.
Jeans, or any form of denim clothing. The reason behind this is that if your denim clothing got wet, they get very cold and heavy and become restrictive when hiking. This is a Health and Safety risk. We are able to provide overtrousers if this is all you have.
Selfie-sticks or Galaxy Note 7 Mobile Phones as the Civil Aviation Authority does not allow the use of these devices.
A backpack as there is limited space in the helicopters, we please ask you to leave backpacks behind. We do however provide a small waist bag that you are able to store your water, snack and camera.
Please note that the bookings are processed manually. Booking will be confirmed only once confirmed by the tour operator.
Due to the risks involved, tours are not suitable for anyone that is pregnant.
Guides reserve the right to curtail or cancel trips for customers whose fitness or ability is not appropriate to the trip on which they are booked. If you are unable to complete the glacier trip you have booked, you will not be entitled to a refund.
As tours operate in a mountain environment certain events may result in customers having to stay on the glacier overnight.
In the event that a booking is cancelled, the following fees will apply:
If the tour is cancelled due to weather and if you are not able to reschedule your tour - a full refund will be processed.
Cancellations or rescheduling more than 24 hours before departure: no fee
Cancellations less than 24 hours before departure: 100% of the cost
Rescheduling within 24 hours of departure: is at the absolute discretion of the supplier, and may incur a fee up to a maximum of 100% of the cost.
Participation in all adventure activities carries a degree of inherent risk and by participating in the activity provided by the supplier you are expressly assuming those risks personally and are, to the maximum extent permitted by law, waiving and releasing the supplier and its officers and employees and any subsidiary or related company from any liability, claims, losses, damages or expenses caused by any event including, but not limited to:
1. Personal injury or death;
2. Property loss or damage;
3. Acts which may be construed as negligent or accidental;
4. Any other loss, damage, suffering, emotional or nervous disorder.
2. You agree the laws New Zealand apply exclusively to these terms and conditions and that the Courts of New Zealand have exclusive jurisdiction. You agree not to commence any litigation or proceedings in any country in relation to the risks and perils set out in clause 1 above and to indemnify the Operator against any such actions. In the event that any liability is attributed to the supplier, such liability is limited to the price paid by you to the supplier for the activity.
You confirm that you are physically fit and suffer no medical conditions which may be aggravated by this activity. Please see attached medical and health information.
You consent to receive medical treatment in the case of injury, accident or illness during the activity and to indemnify the supplier against any claims in respect of this treatment.
You agree to listen to the guide, follow their instructions and make sure any children in your care do the same. The supplier reserves the right to remove or to refuse to allow any passenger to participate who does not comply with instructions or who is deemed to be a nuisance, acting recklessly or otherwise considered to be unsuitable, to participate.
This voucher is issued by an agent for the supplier providing the services and activities described and is non-transferable.
This voucher is based on fares and tariffs, which are, to the best of the supplier knowledge, correct at the time of issue. Any price increases arising since the date of issue are at the cost of the customer and payable to the Operator before departure.
Cancellations by the supplier - The supplier reserves the absolute right to cancel or vary any service for any reason including as a result of weather conditions, insufficient reservations or any unforeseen event or circumstance. The selling agent and/or the supplier accept no responsibility for any loss or additional expenses arising from changes, delays or cancellations of the services and activities of the supplier.
Up until 24 hours prior to the date and time of any pre-paid reservation you may change (subject to availability) or cancel your booking at no charge by contacting the supplier directly.
Within 24 hours of any scheduled reservation any change to the booking is at the absolute discretion of the supplier and may incur a fee up to a maximum of 100% of the price paid for the activity or service.
In the event that a pre-paid reservation is not utilised by the customer without any notification to the supplier this voucher is deemed to have been used.
Any decision regarding an exception to these terms and conditions will be made entirely at the discretion of the supplier.