Tours and Tickets

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk provided by Franz Josef Glacier Guides

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
4.5
Book in advance
from
$87.18
per adult
Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
About
Hike to Franz Josef Glacier along the Waiho River on a half-day guided hiking tour that explores local ecology, history, and the terminal face of the glacier itself. Since the hiking tour includes equipment, from boots to waterproof clothing, you don’t need specialized gear to explore Franz Josef Glacier, and group size is limited to 13 hikers to ensure personal service from the guide.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 3h
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
Know before you go
  • Duration: 3h
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
Soak in hot pools after a glacier valley hike
Follow the path of the glacial retreat up a scenic valley
Learn about the glacier’s history and Maori legends
Come as you are: all hiking equipment is provided
What to expect
Make your way to the Franz Josef hiking base camp, get suited up with equipment for the day’s conditions, then take a short bus ride to the trailhead. Set out along the glacier valley, following the Waiho River that marks the glacier’s retreat. As you walk, the guide shares the story of Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere, as well as the natural history of the Franz Josef Glacier. Once you near the terminal face, you get to cross over the public barrier for a brief climb to a viewpoint over the glacier. After the return hike down the glacier valley, this tour concludes with a transfer back to the base camp; since you have tickets to the Glacier Hot Pools that are attached to the hiking base camp, you can soak tired muscles in warm water following the trek.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 2524GV_ECO
Call +1 855 275 5071
Important information
Inclusions
3-hour guided glacier tour • Professional guide • All equipment
Exclusions
Gratuities • Food and drinks, unless specified • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Duration
3h
Departure details
63 Cron Street, Franz Josef / Waiau 7886, New Zealand
Inclusions
3-hour guided glacier tour • Professional guide • All equipment
Exclusions
Gratuities • Food and drinks, unless specified • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Departure details
63 Cron Street, Franz Josef / Waiau 7886, New Zealand
Duration
3h
Return details
Returns to original departure point
Additional information
Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
Not wheelchair accessible
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Minimum age is 6 years
The glacier walks are quite challenging as the valley floor is undulated and becomes steeper nearer the terminal face, and clients need to be fit and able.
Operates in all weather conditions
This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 13 travellers
Popular mentions

4.5
76 reviews
Excellent
48
Very good
20
Average
6
Poor
1
Terrible
1

PopsPeter
Witney, UK129 contributions
Mixed weather, stunning views, great guide
Feb 2020
Sophie took us on the glacial valley walk. We were lucky as the sun was out when we got our first view of the glacier. Sophie was a mine of information as we proceeded up the side of the river. The heavens opened and the mountains began to torrent. We made it to the glacier viewing area but visibility was poor. Sophie made sure that we made a safe return to the drop off area. Job well done by this Franz Josef Glacier guide and the centre team.
Written 4 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia Ora PopsPeter, Thank you for your review and feedback, we really appreciate it. It is wonderful to hear you had a great time on your Glacier Valley Walk even though the weather was playing games. We will pass on your lovely words to Sophie and the team here at the Franz Josef Glacier Guides. Thanks again and Safe Travels. Ngā mihi, Aimee
Written 5 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

linda12349
London, UK17 contributions
Franz Josef Glacier Walk
Feb 2020 • Couples
Was unable to complete due to tour being cancelled. Very disappointed. We’re able to complete short path walk to closed barrier which was nice
Written 21 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia Ora Linda12349, Thank you for the review. I am sorry to hear you were unable to complete the tour as it was cancelled. Unfortunately we have had some rain lately which has resulted in track damage meaning we have either had to cancel or alter the Valley Walk trip over the past few days/weeks. It is never our intentions to have to cancel a tour, however safety of all guests and staff is paramount. We do apologize for the inconvenience caused. Ngā mihi, Aimee
Written 21 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

aa2c
Metro Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN12 contributions
Good but be aware of weather conditions
Feb 2020 • Couples
We had a good experience. It was pouring rain, but our guides worked hard to make a good experience for us.
Travelers should be aware that West Coast New Zealand weather is unpredictable and the waivers clearly say there are no guarantees.
One should also be aware that the hike is designed for a range of abilities and is not an extreme experience. The guides will err on the side of safety as conditions can change. Our hike was cut short because the river became too swollen.
Nevertheless we got to see amazing waterfalls and rain forest.
Written 5 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia Ora aa2c, Thank you for your review. I am pleased to hear you had a good experience on the Glacier Valley Walk even though your time was cut short. Safety is always our number one priority and unfortunately mother nature had a mind of her own on the day of your trip! Thanks again! Ngā mihi, Aimee
Written 6 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MissMem
Memphis, TN1,160 contributions
Glorious Adventure
Nov 2019
First off, this company is fantastic.....great equipment, great guides, great vibes. Our start was under gloomy skies in a rickety bus. Luke, a fantastic and very charismatic guide, drove us to the start of our 4 and 1/2K (round trip) river valley walk. The sky cleared, the sights were unbelievable and snacks that Luke toted were very appreciated. It was a great visual and educational experience.
Written 3 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia Ora MissMem, Thank you for your review on TripAdvisor. It is awesome to hear you had and awesome time on our Glacier Valley Walk and that the skies managed to clear up for you! I will pass on your kind words to Luke. Thanks again. Ngā mihi, Aimee
Written 6 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JimmyB_70srock
Newcastle, Australia28 contributions
Four kids aged 10-17 enjoyed the fabulous guide and gentle pace of the walk to view the glacier face
Jan 2020
We enjoyed our time with our guide, Jake, and his friendly and informative tour. There was no rush, and we all made the trip easily. We did not need the supplied gortex jackets as the weather was fine, but two of the teens appreciated the supplied socks and walking boots which prevented ankle rolls in the riverbed that their own vans, whilst looking good, are unlikely to have been much assistance. We greatly appreciated the scenery and information, and plenty of photographs were taken.
Written 22 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia Ora JimmyB_70srock, Thank you for taking the time to place your review on TripAdvisor. It is great to hear you had an awesome time with your guide Jake on the Glacier Valley Walk. Also awesome to hear you didn't need the rain jackets, the weather must have been great! Thank you again and I will pass on your kind comments to Jake your guide. Ngā mihi, Aimee
Written 24 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

traveller#01
London, UK219 contributions
Fantastic way to see the glacier with some local knowledge
Dec 2019
We did the 3hr Glacier Valley Walk and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were keen to see it up close but instead of doing the free walk alone, felt we would benefit from some background and history. Going with a guide really enhanced the experience compared to if we had simply done a return walk. We were kitted up since a storm was due to come in, including fully waterproof gear and big solid shoes which allowed us to walk straight through the streams on the way without having to balance over rocks carefully.

We took a short drive down to the start of the walk and followed the public route for a few minutes before going down a private path through the surrounding forest. Here the guide explained all about the local plants and trees which was much more interesting than it sounds! We rejoined the public path and continued our journey with interesting facts about the region, with our guide finding pieces of ice from the glacier deposited along the way. Due to the heavy rain and winds overnight there was a lot of rockfall so we had to take the more public route but this didn't make it any less enjoyable.

Only issue was our trip was actually 4 hours rather than 3, which meant we were pushed for time as we had something booked that afternoon. Otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable tour
Written 8 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia Ora msgtraveller1, Thank you for taking the time to place your review. We are really glad you thoroughly enjoyed your Glacier Valley Walk with us and thought the guides knowledge of the Valley and Glacier was fantastic. Thank you again and we hope to welcome you back to the West Coast soon. Ngā mihi (Kind Regards), Aimee
Written 11 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mustang6550
Montreal, Canada96 contributions
Informative, but!
We signed up for the glacier tour with great anticipation. We brought several layers of clothes expecting extreme temperature swings. However, this guided tour, which was excellent and informative, brought us no where close to the glacier. The closest we came was several hundred meters from the glacier. Still a good sightseeing experience, however a little misleading!
Written 7 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia Ora Mustang6550, Thank you for your review and feedback. Apologies that you found the tour a little misleading as that is never our intention. Unfortunately there was a large rockfall in the Valley quite recently which has meant our View point has been bought back, this is for the safety of all guests and staff. I am pleased however that you enjoyed the infortmation and views good. Ngā mihi, Aimee
Written 9 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

buckeyetravel
Ohio314 contributions
Best Way to Enjoy the Glacier
Nov 2019
My wife and I considered the helicopter ride to the glacier but we opted for the valley hike that takes you pretty close to the face of the glacier. The drive to the trail head is scenic and the hike to the glacier is really nice. It had been raining a lot before our hike so the waterfalls were really running fast and were great to see on the hike as there are a lot of them to see and you get very close to them. You also follow the bed of the glacier where it used to be before it receded. The guide tells you information about the area and the glacier as you walk so it is very informative and the guide had a lot of energy and was engaging. While you walk you see a lot of helicopters zoom overhead but they go by so fast the passengers really can't enjoy all the valley has to offer in terms of information and views. If you really wanted to do the helicopter I would encourage you to do the valley hike as well. The hike is a little strenuous and there are a fair amount of uneven rocks you walk on plus there are water crossings so a walking stick might be handy if you need help with balance. Our group had all ages and levels of fitness and the pace was slow enough that everyone kept up. The group was no so large you could not hear the guide and never felt too crowded. My wife and I really enjoyed this trip and would highly recommend this option. I am sure the helicopter ride is pretty cool but do both if you can. Keep in mind the weather is pretty variable and the glacier helicopter rides may not go if the clouds are low. When we were there in November they had multiple days they could not get out to the glacier so plan accordingly. FYI-the tour company provided extra gear if you need it as it can be cool and wet on the hike up.
Written 1 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia Ora buckeyetravel, Thank you for your detailed review on TripAdvisor. We are so pleased to hear that you thourghly enjoyed our Glacier Valley Walk, and everything that entailed. It really is the best to just take in all the views that the Valley has to offer as there are so many different things up there. We hope to welcome you back to the lovely West Coast one day soon. Ngā mihi, Aimee
Written 2 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

schaftravels
Colorado Springs7 contributions
Family friendly adventuring
Dec 2019
Our glacier valley walk with Sam and Rebekah was truly enjoyable. Having spent much of our previous few days on long bus tours and the drive from the east coast, we were ready to stretch our legs and enjoy the fresh glacier air. The two catered to our young boys, entertaining their young minds along the way to distract their short legs from the duration of the hike (only frustrating due the weight of their waterproof boots and layers, but short overall really and we lucked out that we really didn't need much of the gear we all put on). Unique facts about the plant life, geology of the region and Maori culture... alongside great views, hot chocolate and very cool/large pieces of quartz made for a memorable afternoon. We did not partake in the hot pools as it was relatively crowded the afternoon we were there, but imagine it would make for a nice ending to a wet/cool day, so be sure to pack your swimsuits just in case.
Written 1 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia Ora schaftravels, Thank you for taking the time to place your review. I am so pleased to hear you all had an awesome time on the Glacier Valley Walk and enjoyed everything the Valley and your guides Sam and Rebekah had to offer. I will be sure to pass on your kind comments to them and we hope to welcome you and your family back to Franz Josef Glacier one day soon. Ngā mihi, Aimee
Written 2 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Caitlyn Tigani
Melbourne, Australia4 contributions
Glacier Valley Walk
Nov 2019 • Friends
The Glacier Valley Walk was fantastic! Our guide, Michael was very knowledgeable, friendly and more than happy to answer any questions we had. The secluded viewing point and hot chocolate were a great and peaceful way to view the glacier.
Written 11 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia ora caitlyntigani, Thank you for your review, we appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. It is great to hear you had a fantastic time on your Valley Walk and that you enjoyed every aspect! We will have to pass on the great comments to Michael! Nga mihi, Georgia
Written 11 November 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 71
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Franz Josef Glacier Guides
240sunnyg
240sunnyg
00
It was an amazing experience
Romina, our tour guide, was very friendly. Her knowledge and experience was very helpful. It was an amazing experie
dawesy7
dawesy7
00
Must do experience
Awesome experience everyone has to try this , the guides were so awesome accommodating us at late notice and the sc
EMarijev
EMarijev
00
Nothing but joy!
This experience is a once in a lifetime one. From the gentle helicopter ride that provides sweeping views both up
937jonr
937jonr
00
Extraordinary experience on Franz Josef Glacier
My partner and I had an amazing experience on our Franz Josef Heli Hike with Andrew, Craig and the team at Franz Jo
Arohanuitraveller
Arohanuitraveller
00
Fantastic experience
Amazing experience with really friendly and helpful guides. Able to help people of different abilities get the most
Vanessa W
Vanessa W
00
Holiday
Thank you for an amazing experience and the friendliest service given by everyone from the minute we booked at Fox
feist88
feist88
00
great guides and well organized
it was truly a trip of a lifetime ... we actually walked on a glacier ... the guides were very professional . Romin
rachelpM8352YY
rachelpM8352YY
00
Spectacular, amazing experience - a must do in NZ
This is an absolutely incredible experience - a must-do. You land by chopper right in the middle of this glacier an
knitina
knitina
00
Trip of a lifetime
Wow what a wonderful trip. Everything was perfect from the weather to the amazing guides. Andy our guide was very i
mrshowty
mrshowty
00
The best things in life aren't things...
What an incredible experience we had on a perfect Franz Joseph day - blue sky and very warm (not always the case!).
Sandhya F
Sandhya F
00
Money totally well spent
This was my favorite thing to do in the South Island! We had perfect weather (Franz Joseph was warmer compared to Q
cunnington97
cunnington97
00
Family fun
This was a fantastic experience for our family of 5. Our guide, Jack, was very knowledgeable and engaging. We had a
NirvanaBee
NirvanaBee
00
Xmas/New Year road trip
The staff and guides at the Heli Line helicopter were particularly helpful and friendly. Everything was explained i
shandapanda1993
shandapanda1993
00
Awesome fun!
Went on the 2 hour glacier hike and it was absolutely breathtaking and amazing. Well worth the four day wait for th
JCarvalho97
JCarvalho97
00
Amazing Experience!
The Only Way To See Franz Josef Glacier! This was an amazing experience to have the opportunity to see a glacier u
Frequently Asked Questions about Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk price starts from $88.92. Discover and book Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk on Tripadvisor

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk on Tripadvisor

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk is hosted by Franz Josef Glacier Guides. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Franz Josef Glacier Guides on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk on Tripadvisor

On average, this experience will take approximately 3h. Discover and book Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk on Tripadvisor