The mighty Fox is the largest and longest of the magnificent West Coast glaciers. Remarkably, it ends in temperate rainforest, 250 metres above sea level only twelve kilometres from the sea.
There are more peaks at the head of the Fox Glacier than in any other valley in New Zealand.
The Fox Glacier, like all glaciers, advances and retreats. Evidence of the latest surge forward can be seen in the bulging lower ice fall. Alpine Guides has access onto the lower part of the glacier via a secret track that climbs through regenerating native forest. From the track, you will have stunning views into the upper parts of the glacier. Fox Glacier township is the more "laid back" of the twin Glacier Country townships of Fox and Franz Josef, and people often comment on having chosen Fox for its relaxed atmosphere.
An excellent selection of cafés and a wide range of accommodation complement are available. The township enjoys breathtaking views of New Zealand's highest peaks - Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. Lake Matheson, the famous reflection lake, is a five minute drive west of Fox Township and historic Gillespie's Beach, known for its crashing surf and distant snow capped mountains, is only 25 minutes west by car.
The fly-in, fly-out Helihike combines the excitement of walking on the Fox Glacier with the thrill of helicopter flights. By flying in you are able to access and explore a part of the glacier that is otherwise very difficult to get to. It is here, shunted between two ice falls, that the awesome glacier forces work hardest and often create spectacular ice caves and arches. Equipped with sturdy leather boots, you board the helicopter for your first flight over the awe-inspiring pillars of the lower icefall. Here, the steep ice is in constant motion. You then circle the marvellous upper icefall and the Victoria Falls before landing. Your remote landing site on the ice is an exceptionally beautiful part of the glacier. At this stage, you are outfitted with instep crampons, specially designed by Alpine Guides for these ice conditions and you follow the ice steps cut by the guides as you explore the beautiful formations and ice caves which are seen only here. This trip offers wonderful photographic opportunities. Each departure is a true voyage of exploration; there are so many changing features that the guides always find something new. Ice time, weather permitting, is about 2.5 hours.
Please note that ice features change all the time and no guarantee of specific features can be made.
Soar above Fox village and head to the stunning Fox Glacier. Take in the majesty of the longest West Coast Glacier before landing in the snowfield at the top for the most stunning scenery and that perfect holiday photo. Then explore the west face of Aoraki/Mt Cook before descending into the valleys and returning to Fox. The duration of this flight is 30 minutes. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line's operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.
This day long experience introduces the adventurous to the exhilarating sport of ice climbing, on the spectacular ice walls in the upper part of the Fox Glacier. Your professional guide will tailor the day to offer variety and challenge to the novice and expert alike. Before heading to the ice you will be equipped with specialised mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axes and technical gear. During your thrilling helicopter transfers to the ice you will enjoy breathtaking views of the majestic Fox Glacier and surrounds. Guides who instruct on these days receive special training to ensure they teach skills in the correct order so you advance quickly. You will be surprised by the quick progress that you make. The maximum guide to customer ratio is 1:4 ensuring that you receive close personal attention. There are many steep walls to challenge you and you will quickly master basic crampon and ice axe techniques. The adrenaline will start to flow as you challenge yourself with longer and steeper pitches. Using ice tools and the front points of your crampons, you climb vertical and at times, overhanging ice walls and pinnacles, secured at all times by a top rope attached to your harness.
You will be met at your accommodation by a representative from Glacier Shuttles and taken on a short tour to view Lake Matheson. Your shuttle vehicle will transfer you to the road end of Lake Matheson Road. From here, a gentle walk leads to views of the mountains reflected on the still waters of Lake Matheson. You will be returned to your accommodation by the Lake Matheson Shuttle.
Skydive Fox Glacier in the backyard of the Southern Alps, Glaciers, rain forest and the ocean, its hard to imagine a better place to jump out of a plane than Fox Glacier.
Skydive Fox Glacier fly you up to alpine altitudes, around Mount Cook and over the top of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, giving you panoramic views of the most spectacular parts of the Southern Alps. The aircraft climbs to altitude giving you a spectacular scenic experience on the way up. Launch into free fall and experience some of the best views New Zealand has to offer. From 16,500ft you will free fall for an exhilarating 65+ seconds! Once the parachute is open, enjoy the tranquillity while flying through the best scenery New Zealand has to offer, before you reach the ground in full view of the Fox Glacier.