Franz Josef Heli Hike - Franz Josef Glacier Guides

Enjoy a helicopter ride to the Franz Josef Glacier, then embark on a three hour guided hike on the ice!
Franz Josef, New Zealand
Up to 4 hrs
Start & End Time
Start & End Time
8.30am, 11am
Max Group Size
Max Group Size
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
8 yrs
Fitness Level
Fitness Level
Not included
Start & End Location
Start & End Location
The Helicopter Line Base

What's Included

  • Get up to $40 cash back per person when you book with us
  • Enjoy a spectacular helicopter flight over rugged terrain
  • A short 5-minute transfer flight to and from the glacier
  • Embark on a two hour guided hike on the ice
  • Discover New Zealand's famous Franz Josef glacier 
  • Explore the area with a professional, experienced guide
  • Enjoy exclusive access to the glacier

Please note due to demand this product goes on manual request and we will reply with confirmation email once confirmed or supply different options

Why do we love this

"We love this tour because it ticks off two major New Zealand activities. A scenic helicopter flight AND a glacier exploration! These are must-do experiences in New Zealand!"

What to Expect

Are you ready for a day on the ice? Discover New Zealand's famous glacier landscape, explore Franz Josef Glacier and embark on a hike through the snow and ice.

This Franz Josef Glacier helicopter tour is a once in a lifetime experience that you simply can't miss. Combining a helicopter ride with a hike means you get to see the best of Franz Josef, from the sky and the land! You'll enjoy views of wild, icy terrain and the towering mountains around you. 

Franz Josef Glacier is considered the gem of New Zealand's West Coast Glaciers. There are very few glaciers left in the world which are accessible to the public so what you'll see on this tour is really special! 

Your journey starts at the glacier base in Franz Josef Village where the friendly team will check you in, get you kitted out with the essential gear and give you a pre-trip briefing.

From here, your guide will lead you on a short walk through native forest to the helipad. From the moment you step on board the chopper, the excitement begins. Sit back as your experienced and highly trained pilot whisks you away, up and over the jaw-dropping landscape.

You'll have the opportunity to take in the full panoramic majesty of Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere nestled within the surrounding mountains.

After a thrilling flight, it's time for a glacier landing. Take some time to check out the views before you begin your 3-hour glacier hike. Accompanied by a professional guide, you'll learn about this incredible landscape as you go. Get ready to see some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring glacier scenery in the world!

Your guide will choose your route carefully as you go, making sure you see all the highlights of this beautiful place. Keep an eye out for spectacular ice formations as you make your way through the towering peaks and glistening blue ice. It's a changing landscape here, and you might find yourself sliding through narrow crevasses, between towering walls of ice, crawling through blue ice tunnels and hanging out in ice caves.

You'll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and have plenty of photo opportunities along the way. During your hike your guide will also tell the story of Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere and will share their knowledge of the glacier and surrounding area. You'll learn why Franz Josef is so unique and will come away from your trip with a new understanding of why this landmark is so special.

And don't worry if the weather is bad - if your trip is cancelled due to weather, Franz Josef Glacier Guides can transfer you onto the Glacier Valley Walk on the same day. There's no obligation to participate and you can cancel at any time!

Please come prepared for chilly temperatures. Wear 2-4 warm upper body layers, ideally woollen or polypro (not cotton), quick drying trousers or shorts (no jeans). You'll also need to bring food and drink for the day and sunglasses, sunscreen and a camera.


What is provided:
Suitable walking boots and socks
Trekking poles
Waterproof jackets
Waterproof over-pants
A small waist pack to carry your crampons and essentials
A warm hat and gloves


Please bring with you:
Warm, breathable base layers such as merino or polypropylene
Suitable long pants for walking in (jeans are not suitable, tracksuits and leggings are fine)
Sunglasses (these are essential - if you don't have any with you we have a selection available for purchase at our front desk)
Your own warm hat and gloves if you prefer
Your camera or phone
A small water bottle and snack if you need one


Please leave the following items behind:
Your valuables such as passport, wallet and car keys (we have lockers available for hire)

Please note that the bookings are processed manually. Please chat to us before making the booking as your booking will be confirmed only once confirmed by the tour operator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most customers choose to borrow gear supplied by Franz Josef Glacier Guides. The benefits being that you will come back to your own fresh gear and do not run the risk of damage caused by the ice.

You are welcome to wear your own waterproof jacket, as well as quality ankle-supporting hiking boots upon assessment from one of our guides; or you can choose to wear the weatherproof boots that we provide. Feel free to call us or stop by our base if you would like advice.

You are welcome to wear your own good quality ankle supporting hiking boots with our crampons, or you can choose to wear the boots that we provide. Our boots are comfortable and warm and ensure you don't damage your own boots when strapping on your crampons. If you choose to wear your own boots, bring them in for a fitting the evening prior to your tour departure to see if they are suitable.

02017-07-13 17:14:41
2017-07-13 17:14:411

Check in time for Heli Hike, Heli Ice Climbs and Glacier Valley Walk is 1 hour prior to the trip time stated on your booking confirmation. 

This allows us plenty of time to prepare you for your trip, fill in medical information, give a weather update, and get you kitted up with all the necessary equipment.

Come in and see our friendly team 15 minutes prior to your trip time.

02017-07-13 17:14:41
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We ask that you do not bring a backpack on your Heli Hike or Ice Climb as there is limited space in the helicopter.

On all our trips we provide you with a small waist bag to carry your essentials (phone/camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, water and a snack). Please do not bring valuables, camera bags, selfie sticks, wallets, phones, keys. chargers or spare batteries.

02017-07-13 17:14:41
2017-07-13 17:14:411

Blue ice is a major highlight of a glacier tour. You have a good chance of seeing blue ice on our Heli Hike tour as the helicopter will land high up on the glacier allowing you to explore some of the best bits the Glacier has to offer. 

02017-07-13 17:14:41
2017-07-13 17:14:411

The temperature on the ice is typically only about 1-2 degrees cooler than in town but due to the nature of the environment the temperature can be very changeable and we recommend wearing 2-4 warm layers of upper body clothing depending on the conditions on the day.


02017-07-13 17:14:41
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It is the high annual rainfall in the Glacier region (6-8 metres per year) that allows the glaciers to grow and without the rain, these magnificent glaciers would not be here. We do provide you with the best in rain protection including Goretex Rain Jackets and waterproof over trousers.

Sometimes the weather means that helicopters can't fly; heavy rain, high wind, low cloud.  If your tour is cancelled due to these reasons, Franz Josef Glacier Guides will automatically transfer you onto our Glacier Valley Walk the same day.  There is no obligation to participate and you can cancel at any time.  We just want to make sure you don't miss out on a great glacier experience. 

02017-07-13 17:14:41
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Yes! In order to uphold safety standards we are not able to accept as clients any person over the weight of 115kg (253.5lb). Children need to be at least 8 years old, weight at least 35kg and be at least 137cm tall.

02017-08-18 13:10:38
2017-08-18 13:10:381

The helicopter ride is 5 minutes long both way. The hike is up to 2.5 hours long. 

02018-03-19 15:18:16
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3-4 warm upper body layers (ideally woollen or polypro, not cotton)
A pair of lightweight trousers
A water bottle
A small snack
A  Camera ( at your own risk)

02019-04-17 06:51:35
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A water-proof jacket
Water-proof over trousers
Weather-proof hiking boots
Thermal socks
A small waist bag. This is the only bag you will be able to take, and is capable of storing your water bottle, snack and camera
Extra layers if you should need them. 

02019-04-17 06:51:35
2019-04-17 06:51:351

Jeans, or any form of denim clothing. The reason behind this is that if your denim clothing got wet, they get very cold and heavy and become restrictive when hiking. This is a Health and Safety risk.  We are able to provide overtrousers if this is all you have.

Selfie-sticks or Galaxy Note 7 Mobile Phones as the Civil Aviation Authority does not allow the use of these devices.

A backpack as there is limited space in the helicopters, we please ask you to leave backpacks behind. We do however provide a small waist bag that you are able to store your water, snack and camera.


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Due to the nature of the glacier there are some restrictions on the participation of children.

There are minimum age, weight and height requirements for children wishing to join our Heli Hike trips, see the terms and conditions page for this information. Due to glacier and weather conditions these guidelines may change. Participation in the hike is ultimately the decision of the lead guide on the day. All children under the age of 18 years old must be accompanied by a paying parent or guardian for the duration of the trip from check in until return to base after the hike.

The minimum age for the Heli Ice Climb experience is 16 years and a full paying parent or guardian must also accompany anyone under 18 years for the duration of this activity.

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Factors such as lack of physical fitness, pre-existing medical conditions including, but not limited to, ankle injuries, knee injuries or ACL damage, joint replacements, dislocations, neck or back injuries, heart conditions, high or low blood pressure, diabetes or asthma can effect capacity to safely take part in a glacier trip and in turn increase the possibility of sustaining an injury.

If you have any medical conditions or have had surgery in the last 10 years we recommend consulting your doctor about your participation in a glacier trip and making Franz Josef Glacier Guides aware of your condition.

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Terms & Conditions:

  • Please note that the bookings are processed manually. Booking will be confirmed only once confirmed by the tour operator.
  • In order to uphold safety standards we are not able to accept as clients any person over the weight of 115kg (253.5lb).
  • Glacier conditions change rapidly and as such we cannot fully brief you on current conditions. In general ice steps on our trips can be over 400mm (1.3 feet) high. This height can challenge people with low physical fitness or low levels of agility.
  • Children wishing to join Heli Hikes need to be at least 8 years old, weight at least 35kg and be at least 137cm tall. Ice climbers must be at least 16 years old. Due to glacier and weather conditions this guideline may change and participation in the hike is ultimately the decision of the lead guide on the day. 
  • Due to the risks involved, tours are not suitable for anyone that is pregnant. 
  • Guides reserve the right to curtail or cancel trips for customers whose fitness or ability is not appropriate to the trip on which they are booked. If you are unable to complete the glacier trip you have booked, you will not be entitled to a refund. 
  • As tours operate in a mountain environment certain events may result in customers having to stay on the glacier overnight. 

Cancellation Policy:

In the event that a booking is cancelled, the following fees will apply:

  • If the tour is cancelled due to weather and if you are not able to reschedule your tour - a full refund will be processed.
  • Cancellations or rescheduling more than 24 hours before departure: no fee
  • Cancellations less than 24 hours before departure: 100% of the cost
  • Rescheduling within 24 hours of departure: is at the absolute discretion of the supplier, and may incur a fee up to a maximum of 100% of the cost.
  • In the event that a pre-paid reservation is not utilised by the customer without any notification to the Operator, this voucher is deemed to have been used.



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