Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

4.8 / 5

53 reviews

Activity provider:Franz Josef Glacier Guides

Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

Activity provider:Franz Josef Glacier Guides
Likely to sell out

From US$ 352.25 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.
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 and see ice formations up-close on a hike
  • Learn about the region, glaciology, local history and Maori legends
  • Experience the beauty of the area from above on a helicopter ride
  • Stay nice and warm during your adventure with the use of winter gear
Full description

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. 

  • 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

Select participants and date



Meeting point

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

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Important information

What to bring

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

Not allowed

  • Luggage or large bags

Know before you go

  • Please check-in 1 hour 15 mins prior to your trip time. Check-in closes 1 hour prior to your selected time.
  • 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 10 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
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 53 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Service
  • Organization

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Star rating:

We were so pleased to know we were able to go on this adventure as it is very weather dependant and we were not disappointed. Every step in the process was done well with clear instructions given and our safety being the greatest concern which was comforting. The helicopter ride was short but amazing. The hike on the glacier was an incredible experience and allowed us to hike on challenging yet achievable terrain and know first hand what it was like actually being up on the glacier. An experience we all loved!

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December 18, 2022

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

Franz Josef Glacier Guides provide all the kit you need including hat, gloves, boots, crampons, jacket and trousers. All you need to bring are some warm layers. The tour is weather dependent and the timings of your trip do vary. Ours was delayed over 45mins from the declared start time. The whole event lasts just over 4 hours. There is about a 30min brief, kit out and then 10min walk to the helicopter. Flight time is around 5min. From your landing, you will be guided to a safe area to put on your crampons. Then you are guided in small groups over a route that varies throughout the day due to the Glacier movements. The walk is not particularly strenuous, but there are areas that are so tight you cannot get one foot past the other and have to shuffle forward. There can be small paths with steep drops into crevasse. These areas have safety ropes. The guides are professional and helpful. Questions are answered. This is the only way you can get to this glacier.

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March 4, 2019

Product ID: 188016