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Fox or Franz Josef Glacier Hike?

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Echuca, Australia
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Fox or Franz Josef Glacier Hike?


My partner and I will be heading to NZ in August this year. We are wanting to do a glacier hike but can't really afford to do both as we have lots of other activities we want to do during this trip. We intend to visit the Franz Joseph hot pools either way but are wondering what glacier is best to do a hike on? We were looking at the full day fox glacier tour or the Franz Joseph and hot pools tour. Not concerned about the added entry to hot pools just want to do the best hike out of the two. I know fox is a bigger Glacier but which is more interesting to hike on? i.e caves, views etc. Have heard that Franz Joseph have a pre selected route but Fox Glaciers determine the route by the weather etc. Any advice/ feedback would be greatly appreciated!!


Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Fox or Franz Josef Glacier Hike?

You have to remember that the glaciers are moving objects so the caves and features that are there today , wont be there in august. Mother nature creates these features as it sees fit but I believe both tour companies do their best to show you its best features (blue ice, caves etc).

I will say we were booked for both and due to weather only got to heli hike Fox and later did a heli land/flight on Franz. We were very happy with the staff, facilities and tour of Fox.

The hot springs were great and we visited them on one of our rained out days. My advise is to also book a massage after the hike day or a private hot spring to extra indulge.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: Fox or Franz Josef Glacier Hike?

The major difference these days is that the access onto Franz has been closed due to unstable ice so you have to take a short hell-flight which increases the cost. At Fox you can walk onto the glacier (with a guide), but this means that you get less time ON the ice.

San Antonio, Texas
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3. Re: Fox or Franz Josef Glacier Hike?

The full day tour I did on Fox Glacier in November 2012 is easily the best tour I have ever gone on. Incredible scenery, awesome guides to talk to, and even a great breakfast at the cafe Fox Glacier Guiding is located in (breakfast separate from the trip of course). I can't speak for Franz Josef Glacier Guiding vs Fox Glacier Guides, but at half the price and without needing to take a helicopter (so that rain wouldn't cancel the trip) I figured Fox was going to be the better buy and I have nothing but great things to say about my trip with them. If you want to go on a helihike with scenic helicopter flight high on one of the glaciers then the prices are pretty similar though, I think. I will say the full day on Fox didn't get high enough on the glacier to see big ice caves when I went, but we did get to brilliant blue ice seracs, moulins, crevasses, etc. With that said, Fox Glacier is one of fastest moving glaciers in the world and things change quickly, and I have read reviews where the Nimble Fox tour did get everyone into brilliant ice caves. It's probably really unpredictable more than a couple days out.

Edited: 29 January 2014, 22:49
Echuca, Australia
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4. Re: Fox or Franz Josef Glacier Hike?

Thanks everyone! We have decided on doing the full day Fox Glacier Hike, then going to do some public walking tracks at FJ and paying for the private pool at the hot pools.

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5. Re: Fox or Franz Josef Glacier Hike?

How was it? Trying to decide on franz joseph and fox glacier myself at the moment

Miami, Florida
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6. Re: Fox or Franz Josef Glacier Hike?

heads up, the full day fox glacier hike is no longer available due to the moving of the glacier and safety conditions. you now must do a heli hike in fox in order to step foot on the glacier

7. Re: Fox or Franz Josef Glacier Hike?

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