Franz Josef Town Activities

Our most recommended Franz Josef Town Activities

Franz Josef Town: Glacier Helicopter Tour with Snow Landing

1. Franz Josef Town: Glacier Helicopter Tour with Snow Landing

Take in some of New Zealand’s most impressive mountains during a helicopter ride. Land among them for even more spectacular views and fantastic photo opportunities. Meet at the local partner’s office to check in and attend a safety briefing. Then, following a transfer to a private hangar, you will meet your pilot and board the helicopter for takeoff. Put your headset on to enjoy your pilot's guided commentary. Fly over the terminal moraine of the ancient Franz Josef Glacier and up the valley over the ice river. Take in the ice pinnacles and crevasses before flying onwards amongst the impressive Southern Alps. Land on an elevated landing site to enjoy stunning views of some of New Zealand’s highest mountains. You will have plenty of time to take incredible photos before returning to the hangar.

Franz Josef: Half-Day Glacier Helicopter and Hiking Tour

2. Franz Josef: Half-Day Glacier Helicopter and Hiking Tour

Get out into nature and experience the wilderness on this tour of the Franz Josef Glacier. Soar in the air in a helicopter, trek with glacier boots and crampons, and take in the fascinating colors of the ice flow. Meet at the Franz Josef Village base in the Westland National Park and hop into a helicopter. Fly up to the glacier and land on a section pre-checked for safety by your guide. Equipped with glacier boots and crampons, walk through ice formations and pinnacles for 2 hours. Touch the ice, breathe in the fresh air, and take note of the unique color of the glacier. Hike back to the helicopter and return to the base with a profound respect for nature.

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

3. Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

Explore the ancient icefalls of the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers on a 30-minute helicopter flight. Experience the thrill of a snow landing with spectacular photo opportunities, and create unforgettable memories. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers provides stunning ice architecture and are two of the few glaciers in the world which exist in such close proximity to both an ocean and a rainforest. Make your way to a central location in Franz Josef township, where you will check in for your flight. Strap yourself in to your seat and prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime ride, soaring above the pristine scenery for spectacular aerial views of the glaciers. Listen to engaging inflight commentary from your experienced pilot and admire the stunning frozen landscape below through the panoramic windows. Midway through the flight, your helicopter hovers above the ice and snow before making a thrilling snow landing at the summit of one of the glaciers. Step out onto the breathtaking, frozen landscape to soak in the views and capture some incredible photos. Then return to the helicopter for the flight back to base.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

4. Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

Soar to Franz Josef Glacier and see this 12-kilometer-long behemoth from above on a roundtrip helicopter tour from Franz Josef. Touch down on the glacier and follow your guide on a guided hike. Take in dazzling ice formations and stay warm with winter clothing and snacks along the way.  Start your journey at the glacier base in Franz Josef Town, where the team will check you in. Get kitted out with the essential gear and listen to a safety briefing. Once you are ready, follow your guide on a short walk through the native forest to the helipad to board the helicopter. After a thrilling scenic flight high above rugged terrain, land on Franz Josef Glacier and set off on a 2.25-hour guided hike. With an eye for the most spectacular ice formations, your guide will lead you through some of the most awe-inspiring glacier scenery New Zealand has to offer.  Each trip is tailored to the ability of your group, as well as the conditions on the day of your tour. During the hike, your guide will tell you stories about the local area and share their knowledge of the glacier and surrounding terrain. The glacier's features are constantly changing, so you might find yourself sliding through a narrow crevasse or between towering walls of ice, crawling through blue ice tunnels, hanging out in ice caves, or witnessing the glacier calving. 

Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

5. Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

See two of New Zealand’s biggest glaciers — the Franz Josef and Fox or Tasman glaciers with uninterrupted views from a helicopter. Fly amongst the Southern Alps, admiring the ice pinnacles and canyons whilst learning about the awesome spectacle from your professional guide. After you check-in and have a safety briefing, you will be transferred to a private hanger, where you will meet your pilot and guide and board the helicopter. You will be provided headsets in order to hear your guide’s commentary. You will have the opportunity to stop and explore by foot at an elevated snow landing site for 15 minutes, perfect for taking photos.

Franz Josef Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

6. Franz Josef Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

Take in three of New Zealand’s most impressive glaciers during a helicopter ride. Land on the elevated snow landing site to take photos of the spectacular views. Meet at the local partner’s office to check in and attend a safety briefing. Then, following a transfer to a private hangar, you will meet your pilot and board the helicopter for takeoff. Put your headset on to listen to your pilot's guided commentary. Fly over the terminal moraine of the ancient Franz Josef Glacier and up the valley to see the big three from above. The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are ice rivers that plug New Zealand's longest glacier: the Tasman Glacier. Take in their ice pinnacles and crevasses while flying amongst some of New Zealand’s biggest mountains. Admire Mount Cook in the impressive Southern Alps. Land on an elevated snow landing site to enjoy stunning views of Westland Tai Poutini National Park for 15 minutes. You will have plenty of time to take photos before returning to the hangar.

Franz Josef: 13,000ft, 16,500ft or 20,000ft Skydive

7. Franz Josef: 13,000ft, 16,500ft or 20,000ft Skydive

Begin your adventure by meeting your expert skydiving instructor, receive a safety briefing and prepare your skydiving equipment. Tandem skydiving is the fastest, easiest and safest way for an inexperienced skydiver to enjoy the thrill of jumping out of a plane, free falling through the sky before floating safely to the ground under a parachute. Jump from flight level of 13,000 feet, 16,500 feet or 20,000 feet depending on which option you choose, and free-fall for a thrilling 45, 65 or 85 seconds before the instructor pulls the parachute. Enjoy the incredible views as you leisurely float back down to the landing which is approximately 300 feet above sea level.

Queenstown: Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike

8. Queenstown: Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike

Fly over the Southern Alps, home to over 3000 small glaciers. Visit Franz Josef Glacier on the western face of Aoraki/ Mt Cook or the Tasman Glacier on the east side. Enjoy the flexibility of seeing either glacier in case of poor weather conditions on your tour of choice. Check in on arrival at either the Franz Josef Glacier tour or Tasman Glacier tour and get to your helicopter. Have a safety briefing as your equipment is handed out. Go out to a deep part of the glacier via a scenic helicopter flight. Pass over the deep crevasses of the icefalls and waterfalls to land at the upper Franz Josef Icefall. Alternatively, take a scenic helicopter flight over the Tasman Terminal Lake to the Tasman Glacier. Be fitted with crampons for your trek out onto the glacier, exploring ices caves, and seeing the natural, ever-changing wonders of the South Island’s glaciers.

Franz Josef: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Glacier Landing

9. Franz Josef: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Glacier Landing

Lift off from a heli-base in Franz Josef and explore the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers from above on a scenic helicopter tour. Experience this natural phenomenon up close as you land on a glacier and walk through the snow. Meet your pilot and guide at the helicopter base and receive a brief introduction before boarding your flight and setting out on your adventure. Watch the ground disappear beneath you as you climb higher and enjoy the view as the city below turns into wilderness. Take in the vistas of the Southern Alps and marvel at the vastness of 2 of New Zealand's largest glaciers while enjoying informative commentary provided by your pilot. Then, get ready to experience this unique scenery up close as your helicopter prepares for a snow landing. Stand on the ancient ice of the glacier, breathe in the clean alpine air, and feel the seclusion of this awe-inspiring landscape. Hop back aboard your helicopter and enjoy more panoramic views on your return journey to the base. Throughout your flight, you'll also fly over the Tasman Glacier on the eastern side of the Southern Alps and past Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak.

Fox Glacier: Half Day Walking & Nature Tour with Local Guide

10. Fox Glacier: Half Day Walking & Nature Tour with Local Guide

Walk through the lush historic glaciated rainforest in Westland Tai Poutini National Park, spotting the huge rata, rimu trees and moss. During the walk your guide will provide informative commentary on glaciation, geothermology geology, flora and fauna. Dip your hand into a geothermal spring to feel nature up close. Take in the views of upper Fox Glacier, Fox Neve, and Mount Tasman, one of New Zealand's highest mountains. Due to the location, you won't get up close to the terminal face of the glacier, this walk is predominantly focused on the stunning nature in the Fox Glacier Valley.  Upon completion of the walk, your guide will drop you back to your accommodation.

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What people are saying about Franz Josef Town

These guys were the friendliest, most helpful people in a difficult situation ie it was cloudy and difficult to manage the heli trips. Big shoutout to Arran, lovely lovely guy who couldn’t do enough to help. We couldn’t land due to weather but they flew us over the glaciers and it was magical. Pilot was so chatty, kept us fully informed the whole way . A fantastic experience we will never forget.

Notwithstanding that my flight was not going to be until the following day, the 'front office' advised me that it might be a good plan to take the flight whilst I visited them on account of inclement weather the following day. Both of those things happened! 1. I took the (shortened) flight whilst I was there! 2. IT DID RAIN the following day!

We had very good time in the Helicopter with Puppy the pilot that explained what we see and land the Helicopter on the snow on one of the mountains arround Franz Jozef Glacier. We enjoyed it very much.

Great experience, expected it to be scary but was totally not the case. Was lucky enough to sit in the front.

one of the best things i’ve done on my trip to new zealand !