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“Breathtaking !!!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Franz Josef Glacier Guides

Franz Josef Glacier Guides
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US$53.93*
and up
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
Ranked #2 of 11 Tours in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gen of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers.Franz Josef Glacier Guides gives you the opportunity to experience the most spectacular glacier environment available to the general public anywhere in the world, offering a range of glacier hiking tours to suit all levels of fitness and ability.We make a clear commitment to you that our trip is the most spectacular and rewarding available.
Queenstown
Level Contributor
30 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Breathtaking !!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2014

This was such and awesome time !!! We had jagged as our guide and he was just awesome, he made the trip so much more entertaining and was great with questions we had. Would recommend this to everyone !! And the heli ride was awesome too, we asked the pilot on the way back if he could do something cool and ended up doing a massive drop over the ridge which was amazing !!! Thanks so much

Visited July 2014
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1 Thank Kiwitraveler95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A bit of a rip off”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014 via mobile

We did the ice explorer tour with Franz Josef glacier guides. The glacier was stunning, our guide was great and we had a fantastic time, but at $325 dollars it's hideously overpriced. You are factory toured from start to finish, put in a large group of 10+, then you wait behind other large groups to board the helicopter, fly for only 5 minutes, wait behind other groups to start your trek, and spend half the trek waiting for people and talking with the guide to stretch an hour worth of walking into a 2 hour trek. To be fair, the flight and the glacier were stunning, our guide was informative and entertaining too. But I do think for that amount of money the groups should have been smaller, the waiting around time much shorter and the walking around and flight time much longer. If the price was halved i think it would have been fair and I'd have given a 5 out of 5 review

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6 Thank dandcruz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Poor weather unfortunately!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2014

Unfortunately our trip didn't happen due to poor weather but I felt that the staff did the best job possible considering the circumstances. My friend and I were signed up for the Ice Climbing adventure and despite clouds and fog looming, our super friendly enthusiastic guide got us ready to go, in case the helicopter was able to fly. This wasn't the case but we were quickly put onto the Ice Explorer trip, which was possibly going to fly later. Unfortunately, after checking back every hour during the morning and early afternoon, the official decision was made that it wasn't going to run at all that day. The staff were very efficient in getting tons of disappointed people sorted out (refunds, re-booking etc) and also helped with suggestions of the best way to see both glaciers as we were leaving the town the next day. If I get the chance to return to NZ, I would definitely book with them again, and probably give myself a few days leeway for bad weather and re-booking!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank JRo85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coromandel, New Zealand
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Ice Explorer”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2014

We did this tour today (4-7-14) and it was fantastic! The staff at the base were really helpful. The guy who got us geared up and at the helicopter base was really funny and friendly, he had broken his ankle so he couldn't be our guide. The helicopter ride was brief, but really fun. If you're booking this tour for a helicopter ride, don't bother. It's a tour of a glacier, the helicopter acts like a bus since vehicles can't reach the glacier...

Phil (I think was his name?) was our guide on the glacier. He was very funny, informative and considerate. He gave us a brief safety talk and continuously gave us relevant safety advice as we embarked on our route.

He took us around the best caves and crevices he could find, and a one point he had to install a rope so that we could hoist ourselves up the edge of an ice wall! Some of the crevices were quite tight, almost daunting in places, but this added to the thrill and was so much fun!
There was plenty of stops for photos and at no point did he rush us.

I was worried this tour would be strenuous with a lot of uphill walking, but it's taken at a steady pace with regular stops. There are short uphill bursts, and then you walk across either through a cave or a crevice, then you go up again.

In terms of clothing, I wore a jumper plus a hoodie on top underneath the waterproof coat they provide for you. On bottoms I wore leggings with jogging pants under the waterproof trousers they give you. This was plenty as you are walking about which keeps you warm, but you want to have plenty of layers as it may get cold on some stops - particularly at the end when you have a short wait for the helicopter.

I suggest to anyone reading this to do the tour in the winter. There are less people and Phil explained that because of the snow and ice build up during this time of year there are more caves and crevices - whereas in the summer these tend to melt away.

The price may seem a bit steep to some but it's definitely worth ever penny - and the hot pools afterwards are open until 9pm so you can enjoy a nice soak afterwards with your Free pass!!!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank ShellbyFay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJGlacierGuides, Manager at Franz Josef Glacier Guides, responded to this review, 9 July 2014
Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip with us! Winter is definatly an awesome time to visit and I'm glad you got to see so many good features :)
Safe Travels
Kerry - Franz Josef Glacier Guides
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila
Level Contributor
75 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Well-organized, efficient, professional - WORTH IT!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014 via mobile

When you arrive at the Franz Josef Glacier Guides center, you will be checked in 10 minutes before your schedule. You will be given an RFID wrist tag which you use to identify yourself in the computer for signing disclosure forms. Then you will enter the dressing room where you will be provided water repellant trousers and jackets, socks and mittens, and boots which so efficiently keep the cold out. They also provide crampons for walking in ice. Afterwards, you will take your helicopter ride to the glacier. Ride is just 5 minutes but so picturesque and exciting in itself. The guides are knowledgeable, helpful and most specially, vigilant in checking that everyone is keeping up with the group. Highly recommended experience. You will go to ice caves, crevasses, and even drink glacial water!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank tan_del_MNL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJGlacierGuides, Manager at Franz Josef Glacier Guides, responded to this review, 9 July 2014
Thanks for your review! Glad you enjoyed your trip and hope the rest of your travels were great as well!
Noho ora mai (Stay well, good bye)
Kerry - Franz Josef Glacier Guides
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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