There are several walks you can do on your own along the glacier access road. Or do the Tartare Tunnels walk, or the Terrace Walk at dusk so you can see the glowworms.
With the Heli Hike you get a longer helicopter ride which is absolutely awesome, and the hike is taken much higher on the glacier than the Ice Explorer hike. Because the glacier is flatter higher up there are usually less steep steps to climb. Do remember that the glacier is constantly changing so ice caves and spectacular features come and go from week to week and sometimes from day to day!
If you like horses a horse trek would be a great other activity to do, otherwise kayaking is nice. If neither of those appeal there are a few walks that can be done from the township - Canavans Knob is a good one. See this site for info:
The Cron is lovely - we stayed there in June.
The Coupland Track goes from Fox Glacier to Aoraki. However this is for experienced hikers (Trampers in NZ). It takes in natural hot pools and spectacular scenery. I'm not sure if guided walks are an option as on the Milford or Routeburn.
Thanks, I will check out these local walks. I have no transport and staying at the Cron so will these walks be with in walking distance?
I note there are local places to eat within walking distance, any of these places open early for breakfast?
Canavans Knob and a couple of other short walks are within walking distance of the township and The Cron.
Yes, there are a number of places to eat and I think at least one of them offers breakfast. Failing that, The Cron's rooms have a kitchenette so you can always pick up some food from the store the day before and make your own breakfast. It is a good idea to take a snack and a drink on your glacier tour as well.Edited: 23 August 2014, 23:15
The Copeland is a 2 day hike & the OP only has a couple of hours to fill!
I think a combo tour offer by Franz Joseph Kayaks should fill up most of my day.
Morning Kayaking tour followed by Heli Hike followed by free dinner as part of the deal.
May be I can do a few short walks on the day I Arrive approx. 5pm, not sure what time it gets dark around 2nd of October?
Hi all, I just got back from New Zealand and was affected by the weather - rained most of the time in north and south Islands and my 2 night stay at Franz Joseph was a disaster as my heli hike was cancelled due to weather conditions. The heli hike was to be the highlight of my trip, the same weather pattern happened at mount cook too. I'm absolutely gutted.
Lessoned learnt that anyone planning to stay in these locations need to plan more time as the weather can change/turn at any point in these locations. I'm assuming my stay in September was he wrong season?....really gutted as I came all the way from UK.
tthe day I left was when the sun came out. I know NZ is a beautiful country but are there any other countries that do heli hikes especially in Europe?
If now other country offers this kind of hike , then I will need to plan a return trip to NZ for 1 week to cover FOX ,FranzEdited: 12 October 2014, 17:50
Very sorry to hear that you missed the good weather - and you must have only just missed it as the West Coast had over a month without rain in August to September which is very unusual. Unfortunately it is just the luck of the draw for travellers.
The only other place I know of that has glaciers that tourists can walk on is Norway.
Thanks for the reply, will check out Norway or it will have to be a return to NZ on route to another destination.
The bad weather I had was during first week in October which also affected Mount Cook hermitage hotel area with 110 MPH winds during my stay.