Franz Josef Town
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Franz Josef Town Day Trips

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

1. 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 Town: Glacier Helicopter Tour with Snow Landing

2. 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.

Queenstown: Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike

3. 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: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

4. 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 Glacier: 2.5-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

5. 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 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: Twin Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers Helicopter Trip

7. Franz Josef: Twin Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers Helicopter Trip

Experience double the excitement as you fly over the stunning Twin Glacier Fox and Franz Josef Glacier on a helicopter ride over stunning mountain landscapes that includes a scenic snow landing.  Depart from Franz Josef town and within minutes you will be soaring across the majestic icefall of the Franz Josef Glacier where you will ascend among the mountain tops for your snow landing experience. As you fly, admire below you the snowfields of the Twin Glacier Fox and Franz Josef Glacier, and magnificent views of the Southern Alps, Mount Cook, and Mount Tasman. After 10 minutes of feeling the snow on your feet, jump back in the helicopter and take off once again across the snowfield expanse and then land back where you departed from.

Franz Josef Glacier Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

8. Franz Josef Glacier Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

Journey into the largely inaccessible heart of the majestic Southern Alps on a 20-minute helicopter flight to Franz Josef Glacier. Experience a snow landing and explore the ice falls, to see some of the most stunning ice architecture of any glacier in the world. Following a spectacular collapse of the terminal face in 2012, the glacier is now only accessible by helicopter. Make your way to a central location in Franz Josef township, where you will check in for the flight. Lift off, and fly above the glacier that stretches through Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Admire the thick forest that creeps to the edge of the ice and appreciate the spectacular views of the glacier from above. Midway through the flight you will land on part of the glacier snowfield in a location that, without specialized equipment and mountaineering guides, is only accessible by helicopter. Soak in the views, capture some incredible photos then return to the helicopter for the return flight to Franz Josef township.

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

9. 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.

Greymouth: Franz Josef Glacier & Wildlife Centre Guided Tour

10. Greymouth: Franz Josef Glacier & Wildlife Centre Guided Tour

Departing from Greymouth, you will enjoy a scenic drive South, following the coastline with ocean views before heading inland to reach your destination of Franz Josef. The township of Franz Josef is a popular tourist hot spot with thousands visiting the town to view the famous Franz Josef Glacier. Walk up to the glacier along a marked track called the Valley Walk, following the river bed. The trek will take approximately 1.5 hours. On your return to Franz Josef, you will visit the Wildlife Centre. Home to two of New Zealand’s native birds, the Rowi Kiwi and the Tuatara, the centre also hosts an interactive exhibit on the glacier. There is also a souvenir gift shop and cafe onsite. In Franz Josef there will be free time to buy lunch and look around the town, before returning back to Greymouth.

Frequently asked questions about Franz Josef Town Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in Franz Josef Town?

The other unmissable things to do in Franz Josef Town are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Franz Josef Town

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What people are saying about Franz Josef Town

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 34 reviews

After two days of the flight being cancelled because of the weather we were able to fly on the third day and had a marvellous flight right over Franz Joseph glacier, over the main divide, over the Tasman Glacier and landed to the east of Mount Cook. Spectacular views all round and good commentary from the pilot. Very pleased I chose a family company and fully recommend them to anyone wanting an excellent experience and much longer than advertised..

What an amazing trip. Megan was excellent with communicating to bring the trip forward to make the most of it before the weather changed. Gus the pilot was amazing, such a smooth flight with great local knowledge and history. Highly recommend this to anyone we had such a great time.

It was a great experience. Very friendly family owned operated business. Pilot was very good, took great photos

Awesome first time experience with helicopter and the view from above of Franz josef glacier was amazing...

Good communication, friendly staff, perfect weather, just a brilliant experience