Glacier Walking Franz Josef or Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier NZ
Located in the Westland National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, about 25 km apart, Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier (in photo) are a maritime glaciers. With its 88 hectares of Alpine peaks, snowfields, forests, lakes and rivers, the park is an adventurer's dreamland. Every explorer at heart will enjoy exploring these stunning blue glacier ice and creavesses on either a half or full day glacier walk with the guidance of experts. You also need proper gear, which is provided by tour operators, to explore these glaciers.
New Zealand's most spectacular mountains lie in the geographical region of the west coast, basically the Southern Alps - a chain of stunning cloud-piercing peaks. 1.5 metres of snow are dumbled annually at high altitudes which has led to the formation of 140 glaciers, most prominently Fox Glacier and Franz Josef glacier, in the lower forest.
The first explorer to visit the glaciers was geologist Julius von Haast, who recorded his exploration in 1865. This quest sparked enthusiasm on the other side of the world, in Europe, and within two decades, guided glacier trips because common. As it is dangerous to venture onto the ice alone, ever since this craze started, mountain guides have made their living sharing their glacier passion.
Depending upon the accumulation of snow in the upper glacier and ice melting in the lower part, glaciers are constantly advancing and retreating. Thanks to a heavy snowfall in the mountains gave rise to both glaciers to advance in 1985 which continued until 2009. The progress was such that Franz Josef Glacier's white ice could be seen again from the altar window of St James Anglican Church for the first time in 40 years. St James Anglican Church sits against a backdrop of native bush. The glaciers are currently in a phase of retreating.
Before you visit them, please be aware that the glacier terminals are very fragile, and towering blocks of ice frequently crash down, resulting in some terrible accidents, which is why it is important to stay within the boundary ropes. Another way of visiting the glaciers is by helicopter of skiplane flights, which provide remarkable views of the greenish-blue tints and the crevasses.
Equipped with accommodation and restaurants, the two towns cater to the needs of visitors. You can get information about the activities available in the area by visiting the Department of Conservation offices in Fox Glacier and Franz Josef.
Some of these activities include hiking soe of the walking tracks accessible from these townships, which pass through the varie native forest and dominated by the lofty peaks of Cook, Tasman and La Perouse. The park is home to three calm lakes formed by the glacial activities of 10,000 years ago. The largest and most beautiful glacial in South Westland is Lake Mapourika, which is only 10 minutes north of Franz Josef Village on SH6.
Some of the best tour operators include Heli-Hike Franz Walk, which include a helicopter tour and a hike. Upon landing atop the glacier, you'll have the chance to explore ice caves and pinnacles with a small group. This tour gives you the chance to fly above New Zealand's Southern Alps during a scenic flight. Then you can grab your crampons and make your way through dramatic ice formations during a moderately difficult 3-hour hike. The tour includes a soak at Glacier Hot Pools.


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