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Westland District
Activities

Our most recommended Westland District Activities

Franz Josef: Half-Day Glacier Helicopter and Hiking Tour

1. Franz Josef: Half-Day Glacier Helicopter and Hiking Tour

Get out into nature and experience the wilderness on this tour of the Franz Josef Glacier. Soar in the air in a helicopter, trek with glacier boots and crampons, and take in the fascinating colors of the ice flow. Meet at the Franz Josef Village base in the Westland National Park and hop into a helicopter. Fly up to the glacier and land on a section pre-checked for safety by your guide. Equipped with glacier boots and crampons, walk through ice formations and pinnacles for 2 hours. Touch the ice, breathe in the fresh air, and take note of the unique color of the glacier. Hike back to the helicopter and return to the base with a profound respect for nature.

Franz Josef Town: Glacier Helicopter Tour with Snow Landing

2. Franz Josef Town: Glacier Helicopter Tour with Snow Landing

Take in some of New Zealand’s most impressive mountains during a helicopter ride. Land among them for even more spectacular views and fantastic photo opportunities. Meet at the local partner’s office to check in and attend a safety briefing. Then, following a van transfer to the hangar, you will meet your pilot and board the helicopter for takeoff. Put your headset on to enjoy your pilot's guided commentary. Fly over the terminal moraine of the ancient Franz Josef Glacier and up the valley over the ice river. Take in the ice pinnacles and crevasses before flying onwards amongst the impressive Southern Alps. Land on an elevated snow landing site to enjoy stunning views of some of New Zealand’s highest mountains. Have 10-minutes to take incredible photos before returning to the hangar.

Fox Glacier: Up to 3 Hours Hike with Helicopter Transfer

3. Fox Glacier: Up to 3 Hours Hike with Helicopter Transfer

Enjoy a thrilling hiking and helicopter experience on Fox Glacier. Marvel at dramatic landscapes from above, including spectacular ice caves, icefalls and Victoria Falls, which is the melted river from the hidden Victoria glacier. Land on the ice in a remote part of the glacier. Get fitted with crampons that are specially designed for icy conditions. Follow the ice steps cut by your guide as you explore the amazing formations and ice caves. Each departure is a truly unique experience as there are so many changing features. Depending on the weather, spend up to 3 hours on the ice before boarding your helicopter to return to the take off point.

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

4. Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

Explore the ancient icefalls of the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers on a 30-minute helicopter flight. Experience the thrill of a snow landing with spectacular photo opportunities, and create unforgettable memories. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers provides stunning ice architecture and are two of the few glaciers in the world which exist in such close proximity to both an ocean and a rainforest. Make your way to a central location in Franz Josef township, where you will check in for your flight. Strap yourself in to your seat and prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime ride, soaring above the pristine scenery for spectacular aerial views of the glaciers. Listen to engaging inflight commentary from your experienced pilot and admire the stunning frozen landscape below through the panoramic windows. Midway through the flight, your helicopter hovers above the ice and snow before making a thrilling snow landing at the summit of one of the glaciers. Step out onto the breathtaking, frozen landscape to soak in the views and capture some incredible photos. Then return to the helicopter for the flight back to base.

Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

5. Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

See two of New Zealand’s biggest glaciers — the Franz Josef and then either the Fox or Tasman Glacier with uninterrupted views from a helicopter. After you check in and have a safety briefing, you will be transferred to the activity provider's hangar, where you will meet your pilot and guide and board the helicopter. You will be provided with headsets in order to hear your guide’s commentary. Fly amongst the Southern Alps, admiring the ice pinnacles and crevasses whilst learning about the awesome spectacle from your pilot. You will make a stop and get to explore on foot for 10 minutes at an elevated site which is perfect for taking photos.

Franz Josef Town: Scenic Glacier Quad Bike Tour with Gear

6. Franz Josef Town: Scenic Glacier Quad Bike Tour with Gear

Drive a Quad Bike along the ancient glacial pathways of Westland Tai Poutini National Park, carved into the landscape by ice and water over thousands of years. Admire the lush landscape of the dense rainforest and reconnect with Mother Nature. Meet your guide on State Highway 6 and take a short 5-minute walk to the adventure base to gear up in the provided waterproof jackets, pants, and gumboots. Listen to a detailed safety briefing before you jump on the bike and power across the ancient terrain of Te Wahipounamu. Get an adrenaline rush as the real action starts as you speed along the dirt tracks for up to 2 hours. Stop to take souvenir photos, and discover where the ice and temperate forest meet to spectacular effect.

Franz Josef Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

7. Franz Josef Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

Take in three of New Zealand’s most impressive glaciers during a helicopter ride. Land on the elevated snow landing site to take photos of the spectacular views. Meet at the local partner’s office to check in and attend a safety briefing. Then, following a transfer to a private hangar, you will meet your pilot and board the helicopter for takeoff. Put your headset on to listen to your pilot's guided commentary. Fly over the terminal moraine of the ancient Franz Josef Glacier and up the valley to see the big three from above. The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are ice rivers that plug New Zealand's longest glacier: the Tasman Glacier. Take in their ice pinnacles and crevasses while flying amongst some of New Zealand’s biggest mountains. Admire Mount Cook in the impressive Southern Alps. Land on an elevated snow landing site to enjoy stunning views of Westland Tai Poutini National Park for 15 minutes. You will have plenty of time to take photos before returning to the hangar.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

8. Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

Soar to Franz Josef Glacier and see this 8-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-hour and 15-minute 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. 

Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

9. Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

Gear up for an incredible, three-hour guided kayaking experience. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Glide effortlessly across the water, taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Tours depart at various times throughout the day. Mornings are often the calmest time of the day on the lake, a perfect choice for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience not to be missed during your visit to Franz Josef.

Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

10. Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

Journey into the Southern Alps for this once in a lifetime helicopter flight over the Fox Glacier. Begin your adventure at the helicopter base in Fox Glacier Township, where you will be greeted by your expert team. As you take off in your helicopter, be amazed by the panoramic views over the town and surrounding landscapes before heading towards the Fox Glacier. As you draw closer to the picturesque mountains, fly over dramatic ice falls and deep crevasses before you descend for a snow landing. Here you will have an opportunity to take in your surroundings, breathe in the clean alpine air and take photos in this winter wonderland. When you are finished, join your pilot in the return flight back to the Fox Glacier Township.

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Westland District

Westland District

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What people are saying about Westland District

The whole process was well managed and staff highly professional. The experience was fantastic and words don't do it justice. I have a fear of flying and the pilot Simon made me feel safe the whole time so that l enjoyed every minute. Amazing experience not to be missed.

Weather conditions were great and we were able to conduct flight as planned. Landing on the glacier was awesome.

Very well organised, very nice staff. An exciting experience flying over fantastic scenery.

Excellent, we really enjoyed the flight and the opportunity to get out onto the glacier.

Was well worth the money as it's every day you can walk on the glacier