Tours and Tickets

Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour provided by The Helicopter Line West Coast

Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour

Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour
4.5
Book in advance
from $485.00 per adult
Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
What you can expect during your visit
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
About
Heli-hike the Franz Josef Glacier on an adventurous mountaineering tour that explores the Southern Alps from the air and on the ice. Flying over Franz Josef Glacier is great for panoramic views of crevasses and ice falls, and the guided hike gets you to a fantastic vantage point high on the glacier to explore ice caves and glacial terrain up close, with all mountaineering equipment provided.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 3h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
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
  • Mobile tickets accepted
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
Fly over Franz Josef Glacier for a glacier hike
Touch down between two dramatic ice falls
Don provided mountaineering equipment for a guided hike
Great way to access extreme mountain terrain with no experience needed
What to expect
Make your way to the heli-hiking home base, where you’ll meet a guide and be fitted with all necessary equipment, including a waterproof jacket, glacier boots, and an ice axe. Board a helicopter for the flight over Franz Josef Glacier, a massive 7.5-mile (12 kilometer) glacier. Soar over towering peaks, deep crevasses, and winding streams of glacial melt. The pilot will guide the helicopter onto the ice, touching down high on the glacier. Climb in and around ice caves, capturing remarkable photographs of the frozen landscape, and learn the history of Franz Josef Glacier. Following the hike, board the helicopter for the spectacular return flight, retracing your path with sweeping views across the Southern Alps.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 3434WHO_HELIHIKE
Call +1 855 275 5071
Important information
Inclusions
Helicopter ride • Professional guide • 2-hour hike on the glacier • Use of gear (glacier boots, talons, socks, ice axe, waterproof jacket)
Exclusions
Gratuities • Food and drinks • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Duration
3h
Departure details
The Helicopter Line Franz Josef Glacier, Franz Josef, Main South Road SH6, Franz Josef 7856, New Zealand
Inclusions
Helicopter ride • Professional guide • 2-hour hike on the glacier • Use of gear (glacier boots, talons, socks, ice axe, waterproof jacket)
Exclusions
Gratuities • Food and drinks • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Departure details
The Helicopter Line Franz Josef Glacier, Franz Josef, Main South Road SH6, Franz Josef 7856, New Zealand
Duration
3h
Return details
Returns to original departure point
Additional information
Not wheelchair accessible
No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
Minimum age is 8 years
It is recommended that you wear sturdy footwear and bring warm layers due to cold temperatures
Moderate level of fitness is required
Subject to favorable weather conditions; if canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund
Please note: A guided walk among ice caves is usually part of the tour but all tour activities are dependent on the weather
Maximum weight limit of 120kg per person including gear / Minimum child weight 30kg (subject to ice conditions)
What to bring
Warm upper-body clothing (preferably 3-4 layers)
Leggings or light trousers, although shorts are acceptable
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Waterproof jacket (provided if you don't have one)
Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
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 tour/activity will have a maximum of 22 travellers
Popular mentions

4.5
55 reviews
Excellent
42
Very good
4
Average
3
Poor
1
Terrible
5

Fearless530387
3 contributions
Extremely disappointed
Feb 2021
We had booked this trip for Tuesday 23 February at midday.

This was to be the highlight of our month long South Island adventure and we had planned the whole trip around this.

Friday 19 February we received an email advising that it had been cancelled - “We have cancelled your booking for Franz Joseph Heli Hiking Guided Tour”.

No explanation given which we felt was really rude and unhelpful. Yes we know life happens - equipment breaks down, crew/guides aren’t available for various reasons - and yes we have received a refund but beside the point. Very poor customer relations, Franz Joseph Heli Hiking
Written 20 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia ora Fearless530387. Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We’re very sorry to hear about your experience. When booking through a third party, we aren’t necessarily able to control all of the correspondence that you can receive from them- including reasons why your trip may have been cancelled. Our Heli Hike on the 23rd of February was cancelled due to a significant active rock slide on to where we guide on the Franz Josef Glacier. You can understand that as safety is a top priority, we do not want to put anyone in harm’s way- especially knowingly into the path of an active rockslide. We were aware of it the day before your tour, and notified you via the channel provided through your third party booking agency. We hope to see you again in future. Regards, The Helicopter Line
Written 2 March 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mike Cunnington
8 contributions
Picture perfect
We were very fortunate to hit Franz Joseph on a crystal clear, windless day! This is a very professionally run tour with knowledgeable guides. If you have the budget, it’s a fantastic experience.
Written 12 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Mike Cunnington It sounds like you had the perfect experience here in Franz Josef. When the weather is good here on the West Coast, the views of the mountains and glaciers are just that much better. Thank you for taking the time to write us a review, we hope you enjoyed the rest of your time here.
Written 25 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kirstnic
Takapuna, New Zealand27 contributions
World class experience
Jan 2021 • Couples
I was terrified to do the heli hike but I knew my partner really wanted to so I bit my lip and went anyway.

The communication was smooth from start to finish, all the staff were knowledgable and we even got to stay a little bit longer as the weather closed in so had to wait for a clearing to fly out.

The glacier was absolutely astonishing, this is by far the best experience I’ve had in my life.

A must do, worth every penny!
Written 9 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Kirstnic We’re thrilled to hear you had such a great time with us and on the stunning Franz Josef glacier. Getting up close and personal with the ice is well worth any nerves you may have, and as you would agree the memories you make will last a life time! Thanks for writing us a positive review, the team here at The Helicopter Line hope you enjoyed the rest of your holiday.
Written 25 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Megadyptes Antipodes
Wellington, New Zealand19 contributions
Mind-blowing and an experience of a lifetime!
Our family of 3 (including our 8 year old child) had been eagerly looking forward to the glacier heli-hike for over a year (we had initially planned our trip for December 2019, but had to cancel as flood-affected roads disrupted our plans).

The staff were friendly, knowledgable, and attentive to our requests and needs. We had planned a 3 night stay at Franz Josef Glacier town; we wanted as much weather-related flexibility as possible to allow us to experience this activity. Turned out our strategy worked! Day 1 (1 January) booking was postponed due to unfavourable weather. The staff were appropriately risk-averse and cancelled the flight since the clouds were not conducive to a good experience. I was glad to note that we had signed up with a company that was taking its health and safety responsibilities seriously. Days 2 and 3 were similar stories weatherise. Although Day 4 was the date of our departure from Franz Josef (mid-afternoon), we took advantage of a perfect window of opportunity when the morning looked promising on the glacier. Staff had—on our request—rolled over our booking from day to day, and gave us updated advice on the very changeable weather on the West Coast as well as the glacier. We flew to, and hiked on, the glacier on the morning of 4 January.

The company supplied us woollen socks, ice boots, a walking stick, and crampons. They also supplied a small belt bag each that we used for storing a small water bottle, hats, beanies, etc. We had the option of borrowing light rain jackets, but we had those already.

The helicopter ride to and from the glacier took less than 5 minutes each way and was a thrilling start and end to a fabulous experience. Our guide, Jon, was knowledgeable, helpful, and patient with our group that had children in it and was somewhat slow in hiking on the ice. Jon shared interesting information about the glacier along the hike, invited questions, and answered questions. Jon carried an ice axe and carved up steps on the ice where it was too steep or challenging for glacier-novices to tackle the slopes. The 3-hour heli-hike included the travel to and from the glacier, but the hike took up the vast majority of that time.

What a thrilling, spectacular, and adventurous experience! Kudos to the staff at Helicopter Line for enhancing our adventure experience.
Written 9 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia ora Megadyptes Antipodes We’re sure you can agree it was well worth coming back to the West Coast for another shot at our Heli Hike! The weather here can be tricky, it is a great idea to stay in the area for a few days- just in case! Thank you for taking the time to write us a great review, and we hope you enjoyed your time here in Franz Josef and the rest of your holiday.
Written 25 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Superpear
Ashburton, New Zealand1,337 contributions
Best part of our trip
Nov 2020
This is a must do experience. Nothing beats a helicopter flight that lands on a glacier and then you explore ice arches, walk along ice crevaces, watch rock falls, learn to walk while wearing crampons, and other cool stuff. This was an efficiently run tour with great gear. The guides were brilliant and very informative. It may not be cheap, but believe me when I say you will remember this experience for a very long time.
Written 15 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia ora Superpear, your photos of the Franz Josef Glacier are stunning! Being guided through the sheer crevice’s, on an ever changing landscape, is an experience we’re proud to offer here at The Helicopter Line. The skilled and friendly Glacier guides take pride in their work, and we’re thrilled to see that that was reflected in your time with us. Thank you for taking the time to write us such a positive review, we hope that you enjoyed the rest of your time here on the beautiful West Coast.
Written 13 December 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kirsty M
16 contributions
Bucket List Activity
Sep 2020
I have wanted to do this activity for two years, since finding out about the experience through word of mouth in 2018.

Upon arrival we checked in, weighed, and given wristbands. Overalls (trousers and jacket), socks, boots, and crampons/crampon bag was provided.

Make sure you bring sunglasses (hat if its cold), suncream, and a water bottle. You are not able to take your own personal bags, just take the necessary items and put them in the crampon bag provided.

Depending on the group and weights, you will be allocated a certain seat in the helicopter, I was lucky enough to sit at the front and having never flown in a helicopter before what a treat!

I loved the sensation as the heli rises. The trip was about 15 minutes to the glacier, you realize the sheer scale once you see your guide waiting for you on the ice (microscopic dot from a distance).

Jake was our guide for the day. Unfortunately, as we arrived, one of the girls felt light-headed after the heli ride but Jake was extremely considerate and he was on hand to help find a comfortable place for her to lay down. He made sure she had time to relax, have some fresh air and water and should she require it, action help. The whole group was very impressed with how he dealt with the situation and we felt reassured we were in great hands.

Jake was an excellent guide, very knowledgable, and informative. It seemed very easy to lose your sense of direction/location but Jake knew the route well and it did not disappoint. Huge crevasses, natural carved ice creations and small pools, there was no end of postcard-worthy photography shots.

The landscape is forever changing so if there were some parts that were harder to climb, Jake would be at the front in order to guide us through the best possible route and had a shovel on hand should he require it to make passage safe.

The tour is the perfect length (I could obviously stay longer) however I felt we had the right amount of time on the ice to explore the glacier.

We were blessed with the weather and the memories and photos I will take away from this experience I will treasure forever.

Huge thanks to the team, I can finally tick this one off my bucket list :)
Written 12 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hello Kirsty. Thank you so much for your lovely review and we will make sure to pass your kind words on to Jake. We are so happy you enjoyed your experience and that you were able to tick that one off the bucket list. We hope that the rest of your time in Franz Josef was just as wonderful! Kind regards, The Helicopter Line
Written 13 October 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KenVicLee
Huntington Beach, CA1,979 contributions
Never Made It To The Glacier But At Least They Were Professional About It
Mar 2020
There were seven of us. We were only going to be in Franz Josef one night, the whole purpose being the heli-hike combo on the Franz Josef Glacier. Our travel company set up the reservation. Somewhere I lost the memo saying that they only complete these trips 40% of the time.

Yes, conveniently no one wants to mention the statistics. The day we arrived we could see the glacier clearly from town. We called, as instructed, to see if we were still on. They said that we were but to call again in the morning 15 minutes before our scheduled flight. The next morning we could still see the glacier and it was not shrouded in clouds. We stopped by The Helicopter Line's office in town after getting an early breakfast and they said, "Yup, still on, but call fifteen minutes before your check in at 9:00 am." At 8:45 am we called and......the flight was off.

That started the second part of reservation takers job. Now they were supposed to find out if we could reschedule for the following day? Where we were going to be? Could we drive back to Franz Josef? I don't envy those people. When they are only successful 40% of the time, that is a lot of rebooking.

As it was we were driving to Queenstown the next day. I do appreciate their trying to still get us up to the glacier. It was to be one of the highlights of our two weeks in New Zealand. I will say this for The Helicopter Line. Since we couldn't go up to the glacier we opted for a hike in Okarita. While doing that 3 mile round trip hike it rained nearly the entire time. So at least we know that The Helicopter Line is reading the radar screen accurately. I hope you are part of the 40%.
Written 9 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi there, thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. It is so unfortunate that the weather did not play in your favour so you could experience our amazing Heli Hike trip. Weather on the West Coast has a temper of its own especially since we are guiding on the beautiful Hine Hukatere (Franz Josef Glacier) located in the middle of a rainforest. Weather is changing every year, so we do not have an exact percentage of how many trips get cancelled due to bad weather. However, our staff is trained on weather in the area and encouraged to make the safest and accurate decision depending on weather forecast. Although we were not able to show you our beautiful backyard, we are happy to hear that the staff took care of you and met your standards. Hope you enjoyed the rest of your travels and please do not hesitate in contacting us if you are ever in the area again.
Written 12 July 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eleanor Lloyd
London, UK67 contributions
Truly amazing!
Mar 2020 • Couples
This was a highlight of our trip! We couldn’t decide whether or not to do the heli hike as it’s quite expensive - especially on a backpacker’s budget - but we are so so glad we did! The entire tour is friendly and professionally run. It is an absolutely amazing experience and one I would urge everyone to do when in the South Island! Our guide Rebekah was phenomenal - super knowledgable and fun. Dre in the shop was also great! And congratulations to the Dutch couple who got engaged on our tour - that was really the ICEing on top of a great day! Thanks team :)
Written 6 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Eleanor, Thank you for your wonderful review. We are so thrilled you enjoyed your Heli Hike with us and that Rebekah gave you a fantastic tour. We shall be passing this feedback onto the external company who we hire the guides from. Dre is a fantastic member or our team and we are so thrilled she gave you a memorable time in the office. We wish you a safe journey home. Kind Regards, The Helicopter Line, West Coast
Written 18 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kitahiggins
Wellington, New Zealand2 contributions
Highlight of my trip!!
The Heli Hike was incredible!! The flight up to the glacier had amazing views and being able to hike on the glacier was the best experience.

Dre and Gordana were both really helpful with the preparation and the team are all friendly and knowledgeable.

I would 100% recommend the Helicopter Line to anyone passing through or visiting Franz Josef.

Definitely the highlight of my trip!
Written 25 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi there, Thank you for your wonderful review. We are so thrilled that Gordana and Dre were helpful. We strive to provide excellent customer service and this seems to be reflected in your experience with us. We are so thankful for your recommendation and hope you enjoy the remainder of your New Zealand Adventure. Kind Regards, The Helicopter Line, West Coast.
Written 26 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

amaury cariot
Noumea, New Caledonia7 contributions
Awesome
Feb 2020 • Solo
Go go go ! Awesome journey with excellent staff. So happy to hike 2 hours with professionals a'd funny guides. And the HELI pilot is great to. The place to visit here specially with sunny weather and small group of 4 people!!
Written 22 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi there, Thank you for your awesome review. We are so thrilled you enjoyed your Heli Hike with us and that the Glacier Guides made you feel safe along with bringing some humour to your experience. Normally our groups on the Heli Hike are 11 people, so you struck a lucky day to be a group of 4. The weather here in incredibly unpredictable and sometimes does not do what it is forecast to do however the sun can play by the rules every so often. We are so please out were able to experience the Heli Hike with us. Wishing you a safe onward journey. Kind Regards, The Helicopter Line, West Coast.
Written 26 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 50
About the operator

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

By: The Helicopter Line West Coast
Lee W
Lee W
00
What an amazing experience!
Wow! Wow! Wow! We had a perfectly stunning day for our flight over both the Fox & Franz Josef glaciers! Then the am
125ejm
125ejm
00
Incredible - Definitely Add To Your List
We had the best time, as first we both were pooping our dacks with the thought of a helicopter ride. But Brendan on
heatherfs2019
heatherfs2019
00
Once in a lifetime experience!
Helicopter Line had great reviews compared to their competitors sp we chose them for the heli hike at Franz Josef.
nzwestie
nzwestie
00
Bloody clouds!
Bloody clouds! We missed out on the trip as the clouds came down low. I still gave an excellent rating as the who
iansD8192QR
iansD8192QR
00
Help flight from Glentanner
Fantastic experience and a great pilot/guide. Good service on the ground by staff in helping us decide on the best
cassandraw224
cassandraw224
00
Sometimes the weather gods just beat you!
We didn't actually get to do this activity because although the weather was balmy and in the 20s at ground level, t
Scenictourista
Scenictourista
00
Incredible
We did first pilots choice today and just wanna say a massive thank you to our pilot Brian absolutely accomodating
becs132016
becs132016
00
Spectacular
I went on the 20 minute scenic flight with a snow landing and it was breathtaking. Pilot Toby and loader Bel were r
608tinat
608tinat
00
Highlight of our South Island Trip
This was something I had dreamed about doing for years. We originally booked from Fox Glacier but the weather was n
HungusKiwi
HungusKiwi
00
Fantastic glacier flight
We did 20 min heli flight on 3 Jan. Loved it and would totally recommend! Sadly the weather wasn't on our side for
CJandMarz
CJandMarz
00
Bucketlist worthy experience!!
Absolutely amazing views and Toby our pilot was very friendly and informative. This was a big tick off my bucket li
Eva10001
Eva10001
00
Incredible
Amaxing unforgettable experience. Staff were all lovely and we were lucky to go up on a clear sunny afternoon. Pi
gernita24
gernita24
00
Great experience
I had attempted to do a heli hike many years ago that was cancelled due to bad weather so this time we stayed in Fr
O3946EE
O3946EE
00
Refunded due to poor weather
The trip was cancelled due to poor weather. Received a full refund. They are flexible and accommodating. Employees
Traveler747596
Traveler747596
00
Breathtaking
This was one of the most amazing experiences we have had on our travels. From the helpful team at the store to our
Frequently Asked Questions about Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour

Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour price starts from $496.18. Discover and book Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour on Tripadvisor

Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour 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 Heli Hiking Guided Tour on Tripadvisor

Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour is hosted by The Helicopter Line West Coast. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact The Helicopter Line West Coast on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour on Tripadvisor

On average, this experience will take approximately 3h. Discover and book Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour on Tripadvisor