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Tucked into the foothills of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, the 12-km (7.5-mile) Fox Glacier is the country’s longest glacier, as well as a hot spot for some cool hikes. It’s not as steep and demanding as the neighboring glaciers, which means you get to focus your attention on the sights, sounds, and shapes of the ice rather than the leg burn. And the sights are magnificent—the glacier offers phenomenal views of both the temperate rainforest below and the soaring peaks above, and there are plenty of ice caves, walls, and frosted arches to explore. And the best part—the ice shifts and changes constantly, meaning that two different visits could mean two completely different experiences.

  • Enjoy two helicopter rides over icy peaks and lush rainforests

  • Explore some of New Zealand’s most dramatic glacial landscapes

  • The glacier isn’t steep, meaning family hikes are a great option

Available itineraries

Flying Fox Half-Day Heli Hike

Experience an exciting blend of helicopter touring and glacier hiking on a convenient, family-friendly 3-4 hour trekking adventure. Enjoy fast and easy access to the most unique ice caves and arches in West Coast New Zealand. Your expert local guide will provide the crampons and all other necessary equipment while making sure you stay safe on the ice.

Extreme Fox Full-Day Heli Hike

Get ready for an action-packed full-day heli hike of Fox Glacier. Enjoy a scenic chopper flight over a lush rainforest before exploring the glacier to your heart’s content—ford crevasses, climb icy pitches, abseil ice walls, and much more. An expert guide will show you how to use your technical climbing equipment and provide some fascinating info about the icy environments.

Browne Fox Full-Day Heli Trek

Enjoy a mountaineering tour for non-mountaineers! Land near the legendary Chancellor Hut, explore the snowy shelves and gullies of Fox Glacier, and summit the snow-capped Chancellor Dome at 2,004 meters (6,526 ft)—all under the watchful eye of a seasoned local guide. Admire the views of the highest peaks in the Southern Alps before another epic flight back.

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Meet your guide

Fox Glacier Guiding
Fox Glacier Guiding
Originating from an idea mountaineer Mike Browne had back in 1974, Fox Glacier Guiding is a vibrant, dedicated, and professional guiding service with an extensive pedigree. They offer a full range of glacier trips in New Zealand appropriate for all fitness levels, budgets, and timeframes. Matching clients with suitable trips is their specialty, as is the “family feel” they bring to their adventures.
5.00 (4 reviews)
Must Do in NZ
Sean W. (source: Tripadvisor)

We booked last minute and were incredibly fortunate to have the afternoon to ourselves. Literally just the two of us + our brilliant guide, and millions of cubic meters of ice. The staff was great and our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and experienced on ice. Truly one of the must-do bucket list experiences to tick off when in new Zealand.

Jade W. (source: Tripadvisor)

By far one of the most incredible things that I have experienced! Our guide and all of the staff involved were super informative and made us feel safe the whole time. Highly recommend 🙂

Anna S. (source: Tripadvisor)

Was great! The guide was very knowledgeable, everything was very professional and the glacier was amazing!! Definitely a must-do!

Kate S. (source: Tripadvisor)

We did the 4-hour heli hike which includes 3 hours exploring the glacier on foot and a return heli transfer with amazing views of the glacier and valley. Worth saving up for, as it’s such a unique experience and fully deserving of the 2021 trip advisor awards. Thanks to Sarah and Cam for being such awesome guides and for sharing their passion and knowledge of this treasured part of Aotearoa

Things to know

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Fox Glacier, please refer to the New Zealand Government’s official COVID-19 travel guidelines.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • A half-day or full-day of glacier hiking
      • Helicopter transportation to the trailhead and back
      • Overtrousers, a waterproof jacket, and leather hiking boots
      • All necessary technical and safety equipment

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to the Fox Glacier township 
      • Accommodations in the Fox Glacier township
      • Food and snacks
  • For the Half-Day Heli Hike, a moderate level of fitness is required. You should be able to ascend and descend 500-800 m (1600-2,600 ft) over 4-6 hours in variable conditions while carrying a light pack weighing in at 10 kg (22 lbs) or more.

    For the Full-Day Heli Hike and the Full-Day Heli Trek, you need to have good physical fitness levels. You should be able to ascend and descend 1,000+ m (3,280+ ft) over 8 or more hours in variable conditions while carrying a pack weighing in at 12 kg (26 lbs) or more.

    No prior glacier hiking experience is required for any of these tours.

    There are no individual passenger weight restrictions for heli hikes. However,  if you are over 125kg/275lbs, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
      • Hiking poles — optional
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (1L capacity)
      • Gloves and a warm hat
      • Hiking boots or shoes (can be provided by guide)
      • Three to four layers of upper body clothing
      • Waterproof rain jacket
      • Food and snacks
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)

    Drones are strictly forbidden in Fox Glacier, so we urge you to leave them behind. If not, they will be confiscated and you will face a $5,000 NZD ($3,270 USD) fine

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
      • For these adventures, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 5:1. 
      • Flying Fox Half-Day Heli Hike requires 2 people to run.
      • Extreme Fox Full-Day Heli Hike requires a minimum of 3 people.
      • If you have less people in your group, we will do our best to put you on a trip with other people.

    Heli hiking in Fox Glacier can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
      • Minors younger than 16 aren’t allowed to participate in the Full-Day Heli Hike.
      • Minors younger than 9 aren’t allowed to participate in the Half-Day Heli Hike.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to the Fox Glacier township, the starting point of these tours, most people fly into Christchurch International Airport 5 hours away from Westland National Park, where the hut is located. From there, your easiest option is to rent a car and drive to the hut.

    Alternatively, Christchurch offers daily local flights to Hokitika-Sea View Airport in Hokitika, which is only two hours away from the hut. Once there, take one of the regular bus lines to Fox Glacier.

    You’ll usually be meeting your guides at their building in the Fox Glacier Township. Make sure to arrive for the check-in at least 10 minutes before departure.

  • Day Trips Cancellations
    Fully refundable within the initial 48 hours from booking, unless the trip date is less than 7 days from the time of the booking.
    Cancellations up to 7 days prior to the trip date are refundable 100%.
    Cancellations within 7 days prior to the trip date are non-refundable.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,
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