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Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike

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Discover the best of New Zealand’s natural beauty on this small-group 3 hour 15 minute ( approx) Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike. Travel by helicopter to the Pinnacles area of the glacier with your guide. Navigate your way through the maze of ice on your moderately difficult hike. Learn of the dramatic environmental changes affecting the glacier and gain insight into the geological forces at play. Afterwards, take a soak in the hot pools to warm up and soothe your muscles (complimentary). Group size is limited to 11 to ensure a personalized experience.
  • Spectacular views and photo ops of Franz Josef Glacier from the helicopter
  • Includes warm clothes, safety gear, and Glacier Hot Pools admission
  • Group size limited to 11 people to ensure personalized service 
  • Four departures available for your convenience
What to Expect
Make your way to a helicopter base camp in Franz Josef to meet your guide and suit up in warm clothing—you can supplement your own gear with jackets, pants, hats, gloves, and leather boots.  Board the helicopter for the scenic flight to Franz Josef Glacier, with sweeping views over the ice field, then land on the glacier itself for the guided glacier hike.  Following your guide through the icy landscape of caves and pinnacles, you’ll see a forest of ice formations and learn about the environmental changes that are transforming the face of Franz Josef Glacier. When the 3-hour hike concludes, fly back over the glacier on your return to Franz Josef, where you can soak sore hiking muscles at the Glacier Hot Pools, steaming pools fed by pure glacier water.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Franz Josef, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), West Coast Region, South Island
3h 15m
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
  • Round-trip helicopter flights to Franz Josef Glacier
  • 2-hours 15 minutes (approx.) guided glacier walk
  • Glacier Hot Pools
  • All hiking equipment (Gore-tex jackets, over trousers, woolen hats and gloves, leather boots, crampons)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Minimum age is 8 years old
  • Minimum weight is 35kg
  • It is advised that families travelling with younger children to book an afternoon tour when the track is more suitable
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Glacier walks are moderately difficult, clients need to be fit and able. Refunds will not be available for clients who cannot participate on the day due to inappropriate fitness levels, i.e. it is important you are selecting the right trip for your physical fitness ability. Guides reserve the right to curtail or cancel trips for clients whose fitness is not appropriate
  • Operates in most weather conditions, please dress appropriately. Two to four warm upper- body layers of clothing are recommended, quick-drying trousers or shorts (no jeans), a hat and gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen and a camera
  • Please bring a bathing suit for the Glacier Hot Pools
  • The Operator 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. These trips are weather dependent.
  • For Health and Safety reasons, we are unable to guide pregnant women. Please note: We have a weight limit of 115kg per person on the Heli Hike.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 11 travelers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
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Popular mentions
My husband and I traveled to NZ from the US and booked this in advance online. We were fortunate to have a perfect weather day and were able to fly. The helicopter ride is quite short but fun. Landing on the glacier was spectacular. We had a great guide but sadly I forgot his
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Response from Aimee_FJGG, Customer Service Supervisor at Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike
Responded 4 days ago
Kia Ora 7SE128, Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed and nice review and to provide us with all of this feedback. I am really pleased to hear that you had an amazing time up on the Franz Josef Glacier with us and that you would recommend this trip! It definitely can get quite warm up on the glacier, however it can get quite cold too so it is much better having extra layers than to little. We will take on board about a change room/bathroom out the back as it would be really benefical! Thank you again and Safe Travels. Ngā mihi, Aimee
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Outdoor clothes were provided and then we went by helicopter to the Franz Josef Galcier. Wonderful views of the glacier as we flew up. Once we were on the glacier our guide Josh walked us around and explained the glacier to us in full. He was so good and his enthusiasm was quite
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Response from Aimee_FJGG, Customer Service Supervisor at Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike
Responded 1 week ago
Kia Ora Cheryl, Thank you for your lovely review! I am so pleased to hear you had an amazing time on your Heli Hike! It really does go by quickly but it is definitely worth it! We will also pass on your kind words to Josh! Ngā mihi, Aimee
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Our guide Josh was very friendly and very professional. I enjoyed the tour very much! Definitely Worth it. The staffs are very friendly and helpful. With free hot pool included in the package, it was great value. Do bring along a pair of sunglasses as it helps so much with
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Response from Georgia_FJGG, Customer Service Manager at Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike
Responded 3 weeks ago
Kia ora CitsoonP, Thank you for the review, we appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. It is fantastic to hear that you had such a great time and that all our staff were very friendly and helpful. Will make sure to pass on the great comments, especially to Josh. Safe travels for the remainder of your trip! Nga mihi, Georgia
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I received my money back for the cancelled hike, the staff were friendly and apologised. I wish there was more advertising about the cancellation rates, 20 - 30% chance.
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Response from Georgia_FJGG, Customer Service Manager at Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike
Responded 3 weeks ago
Kia ora Brodie-Anne, Thank you for taking the time to write a review, we appreciate your comments. We are sorry to hear that we were not able to get you up on the helicopters this time round, being located in a temperate rain forest we do experience rain days every now and again The safety of all our customers and staff is our number one priority and we will never take the risk if the conditions are too unsafe. If you do happen to come around the West Coast again one day (fingers crossed you do) we recommend staying at least a couple of nights to allow a couple of days to try and get up on the trip. Safe travels for the remainder of your trip and hopefully we can welcome you back one day. Nga mihi, Georgia
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Our first trip was canceled, but the next morning around 8 AM we were ready to go and lucky enough to get the go ahead. It can be frustrating to have this hike cancelled, but it is only for safety measures :) The hike itself was one of the most amazing things I have ever done.
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Response from Georgia_FJGG, Customer Service Manager at Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike
Responded 3 weeks ago
Kia ora Katrin, Thank you for the review, we appreciate you sharing your experience. It's wonderful to hear that the Heli Hike has been one of the most amazing things you have done. Thank you for the recommendation! Safe travels for the remainder of your trip! Nga mihi, Georgia
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Key Details
  • Duration: 3h 15m
  • Printed Paper Ticket Required
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