Combine a scenic helicopter flight over Franz Josef Glacier with a 2-hour guided walk on glacial terrain during this exhilarating tour from Franz Josef. Find out why New Zealand's South Island is famous for its gorgeous landscapes as you follow an experienced guide past ice caves, crevasses and pinnacles. Learn about glacier formation and movement, and enjoy supreme panoramic views. Choose from seasonal departure times to suit your schedule.
After meeting your guide and being fitted for all of your provided equipment, your Franz Josef Glacier adventure starts with a thrilling helicopter ride from the helicopter base in town up to the ice. With its ability to hover over stunning landscapes and provide access to remote areas, a helicopter flight is the ultimate way to see the 7.5-mile-long (12 km) glacier at the top of New Zealand's Southern Alps.
Soar right by towering peaks, over deep crevasses and past sparkling waterways. Admire the pristine blue color of the ice, and land high up on the glacier between two icefalls, where your 2-hour guided hike begins. Follow your experienced guide into the spectacular icefall terrain, usually seen only by skilled mountaineers.
Climb in and around ice caves, see dramatic pinnacles and seracs, and learn about the history and current conditions of the Franz Josef Glacier. Enjoy amazing photo ops of this unique landscape, and then re-board the helicopter for the ride back to town.
Safety and helicopters:
The local tour operator has an excellent safety record, practices rigid assessments and uses exclusive high-quality equipment. Your safety and enjoyment come first.
The helicopter fleet consists predominately of AS355 twin-engine Squirrels, which seat six passengers plus the pilot. They are ideal for scenic flights, with an open-plan cabin that provides excellent views for all passengers. The local tour operator has the highest-level certification from the Civil Aviation Authority for scenic helicopter tours; this involves regular monitoring and audits of all aspects of the operations.