A Guide To Franz Josef And Fox Glaciers

Once in a lifetime experiences don’t come more thrilling and unique than a visit to the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, New Zealand. The wonderful area leaves a unique taste and is also easy to access thanks to it being little over 300m above sea level – not something that can be said for most glaciers.

Situated in the World Heritage site of Te Wahipounamu on the Southern Island of New Zealand, the glaciers receive around 250,000 visitors a year and are one of the most popular visitor areas in the country. One of the reasons for the popularity is that the sheets move at over 2 feet a day, making them faster than any others in the world and around ten times faster than the average glacier speed.

Amazingly, the area itself is only home to around 330 permanent residents, though around 3,000 people descend on the area daily. However, the local’s friendliness is something many visitors note after visiting the region.

franz joseph glacier

The Glaciers

Of course, there are all sorts of amazing adventures for those who wish to visit either of the 12km long glaciers. Helicopter experiences are very common and this can be taken from the town of Franz Josef. The aerial view is spectacular and provides amazing views of Mt Cook and also Mt Tasman and also the surrounding sea. There is also an abundance of B&Bs nearby as well as facilities for those who want easy access to the conventions of a holiday.

Most helicopter experiences provide Heli Hiking – this is where the helicopter lands on top of the glacier and allows a hiking expedition to take place. It’s a safe and exciting experience and one that gives you an idea of the vastness of the area.

Ice climbing is also an option for those looking for a few more kicks and thrills. Here the person scales an area of the glacier in a safety harness. It’s a challenging and exciting experience that sees people climb over hands and scramble up the glacier face.

Calming Down

Of course, for those who seek less adrenaline there are also options. One of the foremost exciting is taking a trek to the glacier via the nearby rainforest. This allows you to experience the diversity of New Zealand’s eco-system, while also some of the most astounding photo opportunities every. It really is a wonder of nature.

The glacier pools are also something of a must visit for those in the region. The Franz Josef hot pools are ideal for treating those muscles after a long and hearty walk across the ice mass and offer something completely different to the adventure orientated excursions popular in the region. Many of these pools are situated in the rainforest and so provide amazing views and quite an exciting experience, particularaly at night.

So, if you’re looking for an experience that you will never forget among friendly locals, with plenty of fresh air and a tinge of relaxation, a trip to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers is perfect.

Cormac Reynolds is an avid traveller and has travelled to 5 continents. He writes for a range of different travel websites and would consider New Zealand one of his favourite countries. He writes this article for http://dubaishortstay.com/