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Fox vs Franz Josef for >70's

Sydney, Australia
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Fox vs Franz Josef for >70's

I am sending my age 71 and 72 parents to NZ in a few weeks. Which glacier is the best to see? They would not be interested in helicopter and don't need to hike on the glaciers. Can you still walk out to see the glacier face and how long and how easy is the walk? Also which township nicest to stay in for 1 night (probably the previous night in Hokitika and the next night in Wanaka)?

Thanks for opinions.

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1. Re: Fox vs Franz Josef for >70's


Fox to walk to the terminal face without a guide and the Lake Mathesion walk.


Nova Scotia
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for Nova Scotia
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2. Re: Fox vs Franz Josef for >70's

I totally agree. It is a bit of a climb to see the terminal face at Fox but this 67 year old with a bad knee was able to do it. Perhaps a walking stick for stability would be good. The walk is less than an hour even at a slow pace. We drove to Fox from Punakaiki with an extended lunch break in Hokitika. We arrived at Fox at 4:30 and had time to walk to the glacier face and back before dark. This was in late August.

The walk around Matheson Lake is wonderful. We went in the early morning and we could see the top of Mount Cook and had wonderful mirror images. We then drove to Wanaka which is a beautiful town.

Fox is quite a bit smaller than Franz Joseph but is closer to the above attractions. We had a decent room at the Bella Vista and there are several restaurants to choose from.

Edited: 04 December 2013, 15:05
Birmingham, United...
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3. Re: Fox vs Franz Josef for >70's

We stayed at FJG earlier this year, the walk to the glacier was easy, there are lots of restaurants to choose from and there are the hot pools at Franz :)

We stopped of in Fox on the way to Wanaka it seemed a lot quieter, the only thing I didn't like about FJG though was the constant thrum of helicopters.

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4. Re: Fox vs Franz Josef for >70's

We did the valley walk (free) and Franz Josef and it took about an hour and was pretty easy although very rocky. We also did the Fox Trot tour onto the ice at Fox Glacier. The walk to the terminal face was much steeper here but still stunning. And the bonus with Fox as Mary Ann said is you can also do the walk around Lake Matheson which is amazing.

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5. Re: Fox vs Franz Josef for >70's

How did they go? I am thinking of a similar trip with >60 year olds

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6. Re: Fox vs Franz Josef for >70's

Curly, I answered a query of yours on another thread. I see you are reviving threads about Fox/FJG that are several months old. Let me advise you that around March or April of this year, Fox experienced a slip that made the terminal face rather unstable. So there are no longer the full day walking tours that took you onto the ice.

As it stands right now, the only way to walk ON the glacier is to take a helicopter flight. That applies to both Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier.

You can see trips that are currently offered at:



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7. Re: Fox vs Franz Josef for >70's

Thank you deschenke,

That is really good to know

8. Re: Fox vs Franz Josef for >70's

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