Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers are famous for the day walks that happen on the glacier terminus at the tourist township of Fox & Franz Josef. However, these glaciers are enormous rivers of ice and it is at the glacier’s higher elevations where the real action begins. Up against the largest peaks in New Zealand, Mt Cook & Mt Tasman, the snow accumulates hundreds of meters thick, turning to ice under pressure before it flows slowly to sea level. These vast oceans of snow & ice offer climbers and trekkers unparalleled opportunities to explore one of the worlds biggest glaciers. There are four huts in the area and many different options depending on ability, weather and snow conditions.
TRAVELLER'S TIP: It is a 3.5 hour drive from Wanaka to Fox Glacier. The drive takes you over the beautiful Haast Pass into the famous west coast of the South Island. If your New Zealand itinerary already includes a visit to the West Coast, why not incorporate the Fox to Franz Josef Trek into your plans?
If you are interested in learning some new skills this is a great trip to cover some basics of glacier travel such as:
- Planning and preparation
- Glacier travel and crevasse rescue
- Fundamental mountaineering techniques such as use of ice ax and crampons
- Mountain navigation
- Snow caving and emergency shelters