BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook


BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > West Coast > Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier

The town of Fox Glacier is even smaller than Franz Josef, although the glacier itself is slightly larger. It offers a similar range of services and activities, but the town has fewer facilities. Accommodation choices are not as good, and there is only an expensive convenience store rather than a supermarket. But it is a pleasant little Alpine village, and has the added bonus of Lake Matheson, which often has spectacular sunrise and sunset reflections of the Alps.

Coming & going

Atomic Shuttles (tel (03) 349 0697), InterCity Coachlines (tel (03) 365 1113) and Nakedbus.com stop in Fox Glacier en route between Greymouth and Queenstown. Buses stop outside Fox Glacier Guiding on Main Road and some buses stop at the Fox General Store.

Hostel accommodation

Ivory Towers

Sullivans Road, Fox Glacier
Tel (03) 751 0838


Glacier hikes/ice climbing

Fox Glacier Guiding (tel (03) 751 0825) run guided walks on Fox Glacier. This is a cheaper and less crowded alternative to hiking on nearby Franz Josef. A half-day hike costs $89, a full-day hike costs $135 and ice climbing costs $225.

Helicopter flights

A helicopter flight offers a birds-eye view of the glacier and several of the helicopter operators are licensed to land on it.

Scenic helicopter flights start from a quick 20-minute buzz over Fox Glacier ($180) to a 30-minute flight over both Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers ($240) or a 40-minute flight that takes in Mount Cook and Fox, Franz Josef and Tasman Glaciers ($340).

Helicopter flights are operated by several companies including Alpine Adventures (tel (03) 752 0793) and the Helicopter Line (tel (03) 751 0767 or 0800 807 767).

Heli-hiking & heli-ice climbing

Fox Glacier Guiding (tel (03) 751 0825) also operate heli-hiking and heli-ice climbing trips to Fox Glacier. You get a scenic flight over the glacier and you also get to hike or climb on the ice. Generally glacier walks and climbing are better as you get to the more remote parts of the glacier away from the tour groups. Heli-hikes cost $380 or heli-ice climbing is $595.

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