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“Expensive but well worth the memories”

Fox Glacier Guiding
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Fox Glacier
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: It's our privilege to guide you on the West Coast's largest and less crowded glacier. It is one of New Zealand's truly natural wonders. Whether you are walking, heli-hiking or ice-climbing with us in this incredible environment, we can promise you a memory you'll cherish. We have a long guiding history on the glacier (guided walks first started in 1928). Those years of accumulated knowledge and experience mean weare able to guide you with complete confidence. You can rest assured we take your safety and comfort very seriously. Come and enjoy our friendly West Coast hospitality, experience the mighty Fox Glacier with us and create a lifetime memory. We have glacier trips suitable for most fitness levels and ages including children from 9 yrs. Our informative Glacier Terminal Face walk is suitable for children from 5 yrs or for those who would find the walks onto the glacier too strenuous.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Expensive but well worth the memories”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2017 via mobile

This was definitely a trip highlight. Although it came with a hefty price tag, the experience of flying in a helicopter and seeing the glacier up close was a once in a lifetime experience. Our guides were friendly and knowledgable - would highly recommend this adventure to anyone visiting NZ!

Visited December 2016
Thank Bec D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,146 reviews from our community

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Bendigo, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
“Worth every cent!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2017 via mobile

Two of us did a terminal walk and were so grateful we paid for a tour on a rainy day. Guides took us further than general public, provided wet weather gear and were very friendly and knowledgable. Highly recommend especially if the weather is sub-par.

Visited January 2017
Thank Jess C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2017

Very nice experience with Heli-Hike Fox Glacier : very friendly guide, amazing views. We had the chance to see it under a nice blue sky ! I highly recommend.
The only '-' is for some helicopter pilots who are not always really friendly.

Visited December 2016
Thank Sophie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“AMAZING! Worth every penny”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2017 via mobile

We booked the flying fox heli hike and absolutely loved every second of it. We were told the weather had been bad for many weeks leading up to our trip and most tours had to be canceled for safety reasons. We were extremely lucky with the weather and took the 1:00 tour. This was my friends first helicopter ride and first walk on a glacier so she was pretty nervous. She smiled the entire 4 hours of the tour.
Our tour started with a safety briefing and outfitting us with socks and Asolo hiking boots. All employees were fun, energetic, and safety oriented. I was really impressed with the attention to detail when it came to our safety. The helicopter ride was shorter than we expected but still stunningly beautiful. After landing on the glacier we were shown how to attach our crampons to our boots and off we went on a casual walk along the top of the glacier. We stopped often to learn about the glacier and our surroundings. Our guides were full of fun facts and information. We drank the 98% pure water flowing down the glacier, wiggled our way through an ice cavern, stood at the base of an enormous waterfall, and took more pictures than I know what to do with. Wish I could go again tomorrow. Would love to try the ice climb next time.

Visited December 2016
1 Thank IdahoErica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
169 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Outstanding, must do trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2017

You come to Fox Glacier town to see its namesake glacier of course, and this tour does not disappoint. Of course, you hear horror stories of crashing helicopters on this glacier, but Fox seems to be a very safety conscious and professional outfit but for those like me, uneasy flying, it was a bit of a leap of faith but there was no need to worry, the heli ride was highly enjoyable and only about 5 mins up and back.

This is a highly weather dependent activity and our guide told us that up to 40% of such trips are cancelled for weather reasons as had been the case for the entire 3 days prior to ours. We were therefore indeed fortunate to be able to go, as we were only here for a day. I thoroughly recommend you make a reservation as you get a full refund (and sliding scale refunds for trips cut short) if your tour is unable to run.

You check in at the main office on the main drag of Fox Glacier and they provide you with a waterproof coat. We were not provided trousers so make sure you don't wear jeans or water retentive material because you may get wet on this hike. From here you are bussed the 5 minutes to the heliport. We were a group of 31 and each helicopter holds up to 6 passengers (plus pilot of course!). So they ferry you up by sub-groups of 5 or 6 after weighing you and deciding who are the lightest members of you party, and those 2 are lucky enough to sit up front. Before you go they will give you boots and socks so there is no need to wear your own although you can - they will inspect to see if they pass muster (need strong ankle support).

I had never ridden on a heli before and it was a great experience. If you are in the 4 back seats as I was the fit is tight and you get a lap belt similar to an airline seatbelt and headphones to dampen the noise and to hear the pilot. The ride up is spectacular in its own right and as I say, takes about 5 minutes.

Your guides will be awaiting you on the ice and they fit you with crampons and walking pole should you desire the latter (which I think is a good idea). When we arrived it was hailing and raining but the ride up wasn't turbulent. We were fortunate the clouds cleared and most of the 90 minute plus walk was in pretty good conditions.

Our guide, Jon, was first class. All guides lead you pretty much in single file as you pass highly interesting formations in the glacier such as crevasses, meltwater channels, blue caves etc. It is fascinating and educational and truly a wonderful walk. Not too cold if not raining but it was freezing in the rain. You do have to keep to the guides path as the glacier is ever changing and things like rock falls and ice falls do occur although we didn't see any. The crampons are excellent and feel very secure indeed. The guides are very helpful fitting them too.

We were lucky enough to see several blue caves including one you could traverse lying on your back although this was a very cold and wet experience! Your guide is in constant contact with others and the pilots to ensure your safety but we never felt at risk at any time. However this is an alpine environment and it is easy to see how you could fall and/or injure yourself.

It is not too strenuous but you will know you have been walking as it is very up and down as befits the terrain. You are obviously taken back a similar way (other side of the valley though) and that ride is equally as picturesque as the flight up. It is truly outstanding, well worth the high price for a family of four, I highly recommend it. You should be aware of the high cancellation rate and the unpredictability of the weather especially if you only have one day in Fox Glacier/Franz Josef - several on our tour tried to go the day before and were fortunate to have a down day to try again. If you are set on doing this you might want to allocate more than one day here to maximize your chances.

As always in NZ, friendly guides and no expectation of tipping which takes some getting used to for those of us living in the US.

Visited January 2017
1 Thank jerryskc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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