Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

Activity provider: Franz Josef Glacier Guides
Likely to sell out

From US$ 283.85 per person

Likely to sell out

Combine an exhilarating helicopter ride, jaw-dropping scenery, and a hike through spectacular glacier features on the Franz Josef Glacier for an unmissable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details. Learn more
Duration 4 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • Soar high above Franz Josef Glacier on a scenic helicopter flight
  • Explore key glacier features up-close on a 2.25-hour guided hike
  • Learn about the region, glaciology, local history and Maori legends
  • Unwind after your adventure with entry to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools
Full description

Soar to Franz Josef Glacier and see this 12-kilometer-long behemoth from above on a roundtrip helicopter tour from Franz Josef. Touch down on the glacier and follow your guide on a guided hike. Take in dazzling ice formations and stay warm with winter clothing and snacks along the way. 

Start your journey at the glacier base in Franz Josef Town, where the team will check you in. Get kitted out with the essential gear and listen to a safety briefing. Once you are ready, follow your guide on a short walk through the native forest to the helipad to board the helicopter.

After a thrilling scenic flight high above rugged terrain, land on Franz Josef Glacier and set off on a 2.25-hour guided hike. With an eye for the most spectacular ice formations, your guide will lead you through some of the most awe-inspiring glacier scenery New Zealand has to offer. 

Each trip is tailored to the ability of your group, as well as the conditions on the day of your tour. During the hike, your guide will tell you stories about the local area and share their knowledge of the glacier and surrounding terrain.

The glacier's features are constantly changing, so you might find yourself sliding through a narrow crevasse or between towering walls of ice, crawling through blue ice tunnels, hanging out in ice caves, or witnessing the glacier calving. 

  • Return helicopter transfers
  • Glacier tour
  • Live guide
  • Overtrousers
  • Jacket
  • Socks
  • Sturdy boots
  • Crampons
  • Hat and gloves (if required)
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Not suitable for
  • Pregnant women
  • People with back problems
Covid-19 precautions
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask
  • You must present either proof of full vaccination, proof of a Covid-19 infection in the past 3 months, or a negative test taken no more than 24 hours before the activity starts
  • Masks are required while indoors

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meet at Glacier Base Building, 63 Cron Street, Franz Josef. Check-in closes 1 hour before departure. Please ensure that you arrive on time.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Warm clothing
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Long pants
  • Hiking pants
  • Reusable water bottle

Know before you go

  • All trips are subject to favorable weather conditions. It is recommended to book for your first available day in Franz Josef so that you have maximum flexibility
  • The date and time of your trip may be different to the one requested. The local operator will confirm your exact tour details by email after booking
  • A reasonable level of fitness and agility is required as the glacier terrain is variable and reasonably challenging
  • The helicopter transfers between the valley and the glacier are around 4 minutes each way
  • Children must be least 8 years old, weight at least 35 kg, and be at least 137 cm tall to participate in this tour
  • For your safety, participation is not permitted for those over the weight of 115 kg or pregnant women
  • Please advise of any previous medical conditions or injuries. If you have any doubts, consult your medical practitioner prior to booking
  • The road leading north out of Franz Josef is closed until further notice due to flooding
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.7 /5

based on 44 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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My family (wife and two boys, ages 9 and 12) was in New Zealand for two weeks, and this was the highlight of our trip! The helicopter ride was beautiful (wish it was longer!) and the time on the glacier was stunning. Definitely a slower paced glacier hike, but that was fine - gives you more time to take in the beauty around you. And our guide, Angus, was tremendous. He took extra special care of our boys, in particular our 9 year-old who was at the front of the line right behind Angus. Would definitely recommend this! Just beware that it's highly weather dependent - due to clouds and rain, they hadn't been able to fly for the entire week prior to our helihike.

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January 4, 2020

We had a fantastic glacier walk with a very good and knowledgeable guide. She told us a lot about the glacier, nature and the story of Frans Joseph. We got to see a lot and even had some sun. Hot clothes and shoes were lent out. The helicopter ride was fine.

January 2, 2020

It ’s a great experience.

It ’s wonderful to be able to walk on your own feet to see the beautiful glaciers. The helicopter itself takes less than 5 minutes to travel to the trekking start point. Although it depends on the team to be assembled, it was unfortunate that if you entered a team that had someone who wanted to take a picture of the instagram, the pace would drop and the trekking would be unsatisfactory or the tempo would be worse.

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June 7, 2019

Product ID: 188016