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Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike

Scenic Flight & Glacier Hike starting in West Coast Glaciers and finishing in West Coast Glaciers

Tour Info
Regions Visited
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Tour Itinerary

Imagine a two-hour guided walk amongst the ice caves, pinnacles and seracs of New Zealand's Franz Josef Glacier. As you wander through this winter wonderland, learn about glacier processes and enjoy supreme panoramic views with your small group tour, as your local guide shows you the most spectacular ice formations.

The rugged West Coast is hemmed between the Tasman Sea and the imposing Southern Alps, making for spectacular contrasts in the surrounding scenery. Franz Josef Glacier, found in the stunning Westland National Park, is one of the most spectacular glaciers in this region.

How do you reach this pristine location? By helicopter of course.

Combine an awesome scenic helicopter flight over the glacier with a unique guided walk through the extraordinary alpine landscape. See the ice-flow from above and then up close, on an unforgettable guided walk. Your professional guide will lead you into the most spectacular icefall terrain that is usually seen only by experienced mountaineers. With a spotless safety record, rigid assessments, and using exclusive quality equipment, your safety and enjoyment is taken care of.

PLEASE NOTE: Moderate fitness required and minimum age is 8 years old.

Tour Inclusions
  • Hotel pickup and drop off
  • 10-minute scenic helicopter flight with snow landing
  • 2 hour hike amongst glacial ice formations
  • All equipment provided (glacier boots, socks, ice crampons, an ice axe, waterproof jacket)
  • Informative commentary and guided walk
  • Professionally trained pilot with specific experience flying in New Zealand's alpine environment
Schedule & Duration
  • Frequency: Daily. All year round
  • Departure Point: Your Heli Hike departs from The Helicopter Franz Josef Glacier base, situated on the main road of Franz Josef Glacier or Shuttle bus from your centrally located glacier accommodation can be nominated at time of booking
  • Departure Time: October to April 9.30am, 12 noon and 2.30pm May to September 11am and 1.30pm (Please nominate on booking)
  • Duration: 3 Hours
  • Return Details: Flight concludes at original point of departure
  • Closed: Christmas Day
General Information
  • Children must be accompanied by a fare paying adult
  • Food and drinks are excluded
  • All flights operate subject to suitable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund
  • It is recommended that warm clothing and suitable footwear be worn on this tour due to cold temperatures
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  • The Operator reserves the right to alter prices, departure times and flight routes or arrange alternative helicopter services
  • All flights require a minimum number of 3 passengers for departures. Bookings will be accepted for numbers less than the required minimum number on the basis that bookings will be co-ordinated to achieve minimum numbers
  • Fleet predominantly of Squirrel helicopters. Professionally trained pilots with specific experience flying in New Zealand’s alpine environment. All aircraft are maintained and pilots licensed to New Zealand Civil Aviation requirements
Important Information
  • This tour must be booked at least 72 hours in advance of travel
  • Confirmation for this product will be received within 24 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Tour is operated in English unless otherwise stated
  • Complete operator information, including opening times and local contact telephone numbers are included on your e-voucher
Enhance Your Visit To New Zealand

If you are joining one of our independent coach tours, escorted coach tours, short break holidays or self drive tours and have a free day or two, why not add the 'Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike' to your New Zealand itinerary?

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Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike Reviews

Reviews from past clients of Relaxing Journeys. 7 Reviews. Average Rating 4.7 of 5.

  • 5It was our first time hiking on the glacier. My group was very enjoyable and had a very good time!

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    - 06/04/2016
  • 4We were scheduled to do the Heli Hike as well as the Twin Glacier but due to weather neither of them happened. However, the vendor was very nice and ensured that we were well informed. Further, they gave us an option to do just a fly-by of the Franz Josef Glacier so at least we were able to do something. Franz Josef as a city is a lovely small place... .everything is walkable.

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    - 19/12/2015
  • 4Mike was our glacier guide and he was just awesome. Full marks to him for being helpful, informative and having a funny bone to divert our minds from the exhaustive hike. The helicopter ride was breathtaking and would be etched in our memories for quite some time. The pre-preparation of the hike was also taken care of well. All in all a five star performance!!!

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    - 09/12/2015
  • 5Excellent: Even though the weather would not permit our tour on the day booked, the team were helpful and re-scheduled the following day. Well worth the delay, a great experience. The team were very professional and safety was paramount.

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    - 21/01/2013
  • 5I'd never been on a helicopter or a glacier before, so this was a double first. My husband and I ended up switching our time to earlier in the day because the weather forecast was iffy, and the consultant we spoke with was very accommodating. The entire process was well-organized, safe, and efficient. Both the flight and the hike were great, and our guide was very knowledgable and enthusiastic the entire time. We got to go through several ice caves, and experienced a wide array of weather and temperature up on the glacier, since it started out sunny and ended up foggy and rainy. We also learned a lot. It will definitely be one of our favorite moments from visiting New Zealand.

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    - 29/11/2012
  • 5Heli hiking was so much fun. We got lucky to have a window of sunny weather while on the glacier. All necessary equipment was provided, so it was so simple to just show up and have a unique experience. It's a must do activity.

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    - 18/11/2012
  • 5Great Experience! Everything was extremely organized and my family felt safe at all times. Guides were very knowledgable and seem to enjoy their job.

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    - 27/12/2011