Information for Pregnant Women

We have successfully guided many pregnant women, at different stages of their pregnancies, on our walks. We have also had several guides who continued to guide well into their pregnancies. As we don’t have detailed knowledge of your condition, it is hard for us to make any personal recommendations.

Some of our walks require a higher degree physical fitness and agility than others.

On our Flying Fox: Helihike there is a low to moderate physical requirement, but you would be flying in a helicopter and would have to accept any risks that this might expose you to.

The “Fox Trail” walk is up the river valley trail it require crossing small stream and some rock hopping depending on conditions of the day.

Fox It Up: Ice Climbing Adventure, Extreme Fox: Helihike and Chancellor Trips include wearing a harness, for your safety in case of a fall.

During all of our walks, clients will be crossing through terrain where there is an increased chance of slipping and or falling.  You must assess the risks relating to your personal physical and medical condition, before choosing a walk that you think is appropriate for you. You must be aware that Fox Glacier is 200km away from the nearest maternity hospital and accident and emergency department.

If you have any doubts on the day, you should discuss them with your guide and they will be able to help you make a decision. If at any time your guide has concerns about your ability to safely complete the walk, they may recommend you don’t take part or arrange for another guide to escort you back to town.

We are not trying to discourage you from walking with us, but you must be aware that it is you who will be responsible for accepting the risks to you and your unborn child.

Do I really have to have good English for the Extreme Fox: All Day Heli Hike Adventure?

Yes you must have very good English in order to participate in the Extreme Fox: All Day Heli Hike Adventure.

This experience uses technical equipment to travel on raw glacier terrain.  As you are out all day learning to use this equipment and navigating natural features it is mandatory that you can communicate, comprehend and follow instructions to a very high level.  This is for everyone’s safety and presently instruction is only given in English.

If you  book this experience and the guide on the day deems that your English is not good enough he/she will not allow you to join and other experiential options will be given to you.

If you have any questions, please email: info@foxguides.co.nz or within NZ 0800-111-600.



Can I fly my drone at any stage during my trip?

No, please leave your drone in your car – it could cause a helicopter crash and it is illegal to fly it in Fox Glacier. If you fly a drone, it will be confiscated and you will be fined $5,000.00. For rules on flying drones in New Zealand see www.airshare.co.nz

Are there any passenger weight restrictions?

There is an individual passenger weight restriction of 256 pounds/116 kg on all of our experiences that utilise helicopters.
Please contact us on info@foxguides.co.nz or 0800-111-600 Extn 2 (within New Zealand) if you would like to join a trip and
are over this weight limit.

What else is there to do in Fox Glacier?

As Fox Glacier township is set amongst some of the world’s most beautiful, unspoilt scenery, most `things to do’ are based on the outdoors.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) maintain a number of tracks which offer amazing views and scenery. For more info contact www.doc.govt.nz or phone +64 3 751 0807.

Experience Fox Glacier offers horse riding options along the bush-clad Fox river.
Also, E-bikes are available for hire from our Fox Glacier Guiding building. 

There are also a number of helicopter companies in town offering scenic flights over the glaciers and surrounding mountains. It is advisable to book ahead as they can be relatively busy when the weather is fine.

The Fox Glacier Guiding Gift shop in the Fox Glacier Guiding Building offers a wide range of quality souvenirs and clothing. The buying philosophy of the shop is to stock ‘something for everyone’. If you see something you like here why not check out the store’s other branch located in Franz Josef Glacier (30 mins drive North of Fox Glacier) called The Glacier Shop.

The Glacier Shop, like the Gift Shop, has a wide range of affordable gifts and souvenirs.

Is there any accommodation in Fox Glacier?

As each year gets busier in Fox Glacier, the amount of accommodation options including backpackers, motels, hotels, apartments, lodges and bed and breakfast increase. For suggestions on where to stay in town please see the ‘accommodation‘ page.

What public transport is available to and from Fox Glacier?

There are two companies that operate buses to and from Fox Glacier daily.

Atomic Shuttles

For more information and bookings go to www.atomictravel.co.nz or phone +64 3 322 8883

Intercity Coachlines

For more information and bookings go to www.intercity.co.nz or phone +64 9 913 6100

The great thing about our town is that it is small and therefore all accommodation is within walking distance of the town centre. There are no rental car services around the township of Fox Glacier, but there is a shuttle service called Fox Tours and Shuttles phone 0800 369 287 that will take people to Lake Matheson and Gillespies Beach.

Some of the walking tracks are located slightly further out of the town centre, however there are push bikes for hire at:

Westhaven Motel:  www.thewesthaven.co.nz
Ivory Towers Backpackers: www.ivorytowers.co.nz
Fox Glacier Lodge: foxglacierlodge@xtra.co.nz

Do we have to make a booking? How far in advance?

Each year seems to get busier in Fox Glacier, as more people hear about the fantastic glacier experiences that we offer. Therefore our advice is to book as early as possible. It is impossible to predict how far in advance particular trips will sell out, so as soon as you know which trip and day you want, contact us as soon as possible.

You can do this easily by booking online on this website, via our secure form also found on this website or by phoning +64 3 751 0825 or tollfree (within NZ) 0800 111 600

If for some reason you need to cancel your trip, then let us know as soon as possible. Most deposits are fully refundable provided that we receive your cancellation twenty-four (24) hours prior to the reporting time. Please see the booking policy section on this website for more details.

What should we wear on our glacier trip?

NZ’s weather is noted for its ability to deliver 4 seasons in one day at any time of the year. Dressing for this sort of weather can be challenging and as a general rule it is wise to use the layer approach. 3 or 4 upper layers such as a light t-shirt (or similar) next to the skin, then a fleecy or heavy wool garment, topped off with a wind-breaker (anorak) is ideal. Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when wet. Trackpants or long cotton pants are best and shorts are suitable during summer months.

We will supply the footwear, which includes socks, boots and crampons as well as a waterproof raincoat and overtrousers for all of our trips. If you feel that you have not got enough warm clothing on the day, please check with your guide, as we can supply a fleece jacket at no extra charge.

What will the weather be like?

Fox Glacier is located in a mountainous area and therefore is subjected to great variations in its weather patterns. The temperature can vary between 0-25 degrees celsius, and the West Coast is notorious for its wild wet weather, hence its magnificent rainforests! Weather and cloud levels can change within a matter of minutes. This is why our helihike weather decisions are not made until 10 minutes before departure time.

For further information and to check the current Fox Glacier weather forecast, please visit NZ’s official weather site www.metservice.co.nz

Is the glacier there all year round?

Yes! This is due to the fact that snow falls up the top of the glacier in an area known as the Neve all year round and it is this snow that feeds the river of ice, otherwise known as the glacier.

Although the glaciers are subjected to advances and retreats it takes a long time to witness any noticeable changes in the glacier’s size. Even though we can guarantee that the ice is present all year round, specific ice features cannot be guaranteed. These features come and go very quickly due to the movement of the glacier, however there are new features constantly forming.

What are your Guiding Office and Retail Shop Hours?

Current Hours Are As Follows:

  • Guiding Office and the Fox Glacier Guiding Gift Shop – 8:30 am – 5.00 pm
  • When 6:50 am trips operate, the Guiding Office will be open at 6:30 am
  • The Glacier Shop  –  8.30am to 5.00 pm  (Located in the Alpine Adventures Building, Main Road, Franz Josef)
What is the difference between Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier?

Fox Glacier township is the more ‘laid back’ of the twin Glacier Country townships, and people often comment on having chosen Fox Glacier for it’s relaxed atmosphere.

While the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers share some similar characteristics, terminating at near sea level in a temperate rainforest, they are certainly not identical twins! The Fox Glacier is not as steep as the Franz Josef Glacier and has a kink in it so it responds more slowly to the conditions causing advances and retreats.

Fox Glacier is bigger and approximately 2 km longer than Franz Josef Glacier. This means we are less crowded which enhances your wilderness experience.

Please click here for further reasons to choose Fox Glacier Guiding for your New Zealand glacier trip.

Where is Fox Glacier?

The Fox Glacier township is a small country township located on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is approximately

  • 6 hours drive west of Christchurch
  • 5 hours drive north of Queenstown
  • 3.5 hours drive north of Wanaka
  • 2.5 hours drive south of Greymouth
  • 30 minutes from Franz Josef (21 kms)

All of our trips depart from our base on 44 Main Road of Fox Glacier (State Highway 6). From our building it is about a 10 minute drive to the Glacier Access Road carpark where our walks commence.

The great thing about our town is that it is small and most accommodation is within walking distance of our base in the middle of the township.