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Half Day and Heli Hikes

Bristol
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47 posts
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Half Day and Heli Hikes

All,

As part of a trip to the South Island my wife and I will be staying at the Franz Josef Top 10 Holiday Park on the 14th and 14th January 2012.

We will be doing either a half day hike or a heli hike on either Franz Josef Glacier or Fox Glacier.

I know it is a busy time of year and will be booking ahead hence the following two questions:

a - is there a discernable difference between the two glaciers? The subtext being will I miss out on anything spectacular if I pick Fox over Franz Josef and vice versa?

b - I note that the heli hike and half day leave at various times during the day. Is this just for convenience or are the glaciers best viewed at certain times?

My initial preference is to go with Franz Josef (hence the posting on this Forum) as it will mean not having to 'break camp' unless advised otherwise.

Many thanks

Paul

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Western Australia
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1. Re: Half Day and Heli Hikes

A - No

B - I've found the the light for photographs was ideal on the morning helihike.

Bristol
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47 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: Half Day and Heli Hikes

Many thanks Melnq8. We'll probably stop at Fox on the way to walk to the glacier face and stick with the FJ heli/half day hike.

The early departure times are always my preference and it sounds as if that is a good idea.

Paul

Surrey England
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3. Re: Half Day and Heli Hikes

Hi Paul-----We stayed in Franz and did the heli-hike a few years ago.We decided on the early one as if the weather is unsuitable they will do their best to re-schedule you for pm if weather improves.

It was a brilliant experience.

Greymouth, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
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4. Re: Half Day and Heli Hikes

the time options is as much an operational plan as the helicoptors have limited number of seats so need to do multiple departures. secondly, in guided groups, a guide can manage a certain number of people at one time. it also limits the number of people on the ice at one time, normally you feel as if you are the only group on the ice and the most important people on earth.

the light does change during the day as the sun rises from behind the mountain, and sets almost shining stright onto the ice.

I have done both heli hiking and half day hikes, i prefer the heli hike as it give one a full perspective of the ice flow, and gives you access higher up the glacier.

a walk up the river valley from the car park at fox will alos give you a sence of scale, just how small you are compared to the towering mountains above, also look for the horizontal scratch marks high up the mountain face from pre historic glacier action

5. Re: Half Day and Heli Hikes

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Removed on: 16 October 2012, 02:15