Fox Glacier is located just 20km south of Franz Josef glacier on the West Coast of the South Island and is similar in length – 13kms long from top to bottom – and shares the same unique feature of descending from atop the Southern Alps down to less than 300 meters above sea level making it very accessible.
KeaThe township of Fox Glacier some 6km from the terminal face serves as a base for those visiting the area, also services the local rural community which is visited by one and all who pass through. Many people choose to stay at either Fox or nearby Franz Josef whilst in the region and it is not possible to traverse the Coast without passing through both.
Like Franz Josef it is possible to view the terminal face from a safe distance after a short unguided walk, provided visitors adhere to the safety barriers. There have been isolated cases in the past where the safety barriers have been ignored resulting in tragic results. There are similar guided walks both on the glacier terminal face as well as the Heli-hike both of which require a half day meaning in most cases it is advisable to stay in the area for two nights minimum to avoid undue time pressures.
Lake Matheson is a picturesque lake just 6km inland [West] from Fox Glacier and is a photographers’ paradise. In clear weather the vistas of Mt s Cook and Tasman can be seen reflecting off the dark waters of the lake and there is a walkway around the lake’s edge.
This is also a great place for kayaking either guided or self directed.