Franz Josef & Fox Glacier

Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour

Franz Josef / Waiau, New Zealand
Heli Hiking Franz Josef

From US$363.59

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 3 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Experience a Franz Josef Glacier heli-hike as you explore ice caves and other glacial terrain with a professional guide.  Then don provided boots, jacket and ice axe for a guided hike past deep crevasses and towering ice-blue pinnacles before the return chopper ride down. Choose from seasonal departure times to suit your schedule.
  • Franz Josef Glacier helicopter tour and guided hike
  • Take a helicopter flight between two icefalls
  • Follow a professional guide on a hike on the glacial terrain
  • Equipment provided, including glacier boots and ice crampons

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

Expert mountaineering guides and equipment make this tour ideal for first-time glacier hikers.

What's Included

  • Helicopter ride
  • Professional guide
  • 2-hour hike on the glacier
  • Use of gear (glacier boots, talons, socks, ice axe, waterproof jacket)
  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 63 Cron Street
    63 Cron Street, Franz Josef / Waiau 7886, New Zealand

    Check in is located at 63 Cron Street. This is the Glacier Base building. Check in time is 1 hour 15 mins prior to the departure time you are booked in for. Please make sure to contact The Helicopter Line at least 24hrs prior to your departure time to reconfirm your booking.

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Start your Franz Josef Glacier tour at a helicopter base in town. Receive a safety briefing and be fitted with provided gear including a waterproof jacket, glacier boots with socks and ice crampons, and an ice axe.

Then board the AS355 twin-engine Squirrel, a helicopter whose open-plan cabin offers prime views for all six passengers. Hover above remote landscapes with access to the 7.5-mile-long (12-km) Franz Josef Glacier. Fly right by towering peaks, over deep crevasses, and past pristine blue waterways. Admire the sparkling ice before an exciting landing high up on the glacier between two icefalls.

Then hop out to begin your guided hike over the picturesque icy terrain, most often seen only by skilled mountaineers.

Clamber in and around ice caves as your guide points out dramatic pinnacles and seracs, and learn about the history and current conditions of Franz Josef Glacier. Enjoy plenty of photo ops before you reboard the helicopter for the ride back to town.

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Minimum age is 10 years
  • It is recommended that you wear sturdy footwear and bring warm layers due to cold temperatures
  • Moderate level of fitness is required
  • Subject to favorable weather conditions; if canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund
  • Please note: A guided walk among ice caves is usually part of the tour but all tour activities are dependent on the weather
  • Maximum weight limit of 115kg per person including gear / Minimum child weight 35kg (subject to ice conditions)
  • What to bring
  • Warm upper-body clothing (preferably 3-4 layers)
  • Leggings or light trousers, although shorts are acceptable
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Waterproof jacket (provided if you don't have one)
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 22 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

See more
Featured review
The staff and pilots are extremely professional and yet really fun!!! We enjoyed all our time learning how to walk in the ice and experience a beautiful new world! Thanks!!!


223 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 223 reviews
Amazing experience!
Hannah_F, Sept 2023
An amazing experience! So glad we did it! If you’re in the area is a must do! Our guide Amy was great :)
Good impression
Apichat_C, Aug 2023
Very professional and good services. This expreience was very impress and i am going to recommend others to join as well.
A great experience when in NZ
Aleksander_L, Aug 2023
This is the second time I have done this tour, and both times have been great. All equipment is provided and the flight was safe a quick. The climb was steep and challenging at points. But good fun
Such a great day!
Paula_F, Jul 2023
We had the best time! Brilliant guides, very knowledgeable, felt safe at all times. Wonderful to spend time on the ice, in the blue caves and crevasses. Would do it again in a heartbeat.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Kia Ora Paula, We are so happy to read your 5-star review. Sounds like an awesome day out. Thanks heaps for joining us.
This was a great tour and...
Scott_M, May 2023
This was a great tour and they really focused on safety. The guide for the hike was great. We did wish the helicopter ride was a little longer to see more
Response from Host, May 2023
Kia Ora Scott, Many thanks for taking the time to leave us a 5-star review. We are glad you felt safe with our team and enjoyed your experience with us. We hope to see you for another flight with us in the future. Thank you for joining us in Franz Josef.
LoriLienau, Feb 2023
Kim did a fabulous job guiding us through the glacier. Everyone was friendly and helpful. It was a memorable experience!
It is well organized, as...
Yinong_L, Feb 2023
It is well organized, as many touring activities in New Zealand. Guests safety is well cared for. It gives an amazing experience and a worry-free total enjoyment. Excellent!
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Kia Ora, Many thanks for your 5-star review. We are so glad you to hear how much you enjoyed your trip with us and felt safe during your time with us. Thank you for including us on your South Island adventure.
Mind blowing
Steve_E, Feb 2023
Absolutely fabulous trip up the glacier, so professional and well organised. James our guide was a fun dude who really knew his stuff and kept us entertained but all importantly safe. Highly recommended trip.
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Kia Ora Steve, Many thanks for your glowing review and feedback. We are so glad you enjoyed your experience with us and James. Thank you for joining us.
Great adventure
Phillip_S, Jan 2023
The walk on the glacier was amazing and the helicopter trip was great fun! The guide was friendly and helpful.
We had an amazing guide,...
Leyla_Y, Jan 2023
We had an amazing guide, very friendly and knowledgeable. The whole team was amazing. They provided all the equipment head to toe so don't worry about what to wear at all. I think if the groups were smaller it would have been better but then maybe we visited at a very busy time, since the groups before and after us had same number of people. 11 was too many, we moved very slowly and clipping/unclipping took forever. Other than that it was a great experience and the staff were all amazing.
Most fun on ice!!!
Caroline_U, Dec 2022
The staff and pilots are extremely professional and yet really fun!!! We enjoyed all our time learning how to walk in the ice and experience a beautiful new world! Thanks!!!
Frank Joseph glacier hike
Adrian_B, Jul 2022
The helicopter ride over to the glacier was gorgeous. The day was beautiful and our guide was a wealth of information about glacier formation and the dynamics of glacier movement. One of the most incredible hikes I can remember. Worth every penny.
Breathtaking Activity
Hidde_V, Jul 2022
This heli hike tour might be the coolest activity I have ever done in my life. The adrenaline of the helicopter flight in combination with the spectacular views on the glacier will make this an unforgettable experience!
Highly recommended
Teo_J, May 2022
A great experience. Our hiking guide Cale is patient ,knowledgeable, professional, experienced and very friendly. His team was great too. Equipments given are well maintained and clean. Highly recommended. Thank you for a great glacier hike experience!
Great experience worth every cent
Brenda_S, Oct 2021
I was a bit unsure of this trip at first as it did appear somewhat dangerous and I was concerned I might not be fit and nimble enough to do it and also with a moderate fear of heights. I'm quite clumsy on dry flat land let alone on a glacier so i had some concerns! Jon, Cale and the rest of the team were excellent, very professional and thorough with safety checks. The gear (boots, socks, crampons, poles, helmet, trousers and jackets with a moon bag to store stuff) were excellent and fit for purpose. They really gave me confidence out on the ice especially where I didn't know if I could continue. There was safety rope in most of the right places and a couple of scary parts that were a bit narrow without safety rope that they helped me through. The scenery was absolutely spectacular. There are really no words to describe what we saw up there. It was truly magnificent and definitely a bucket list trip that i'm so glad i did. Special mention to Jon and Cale who were very encouraging and patient with me! I can't thank you enough for making it such a memorable experience. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone.
Stunning experience
Sarisha_N, Jul 2021
Amazing experience! The team were so friendly, knowledgeable, and all round awesome. Definitely recommended!
Most amazing experience
Fiona_S, Jun 2021
Using harnesses and ropes we were able to climb right up the glacier - an experience I don't believe would be possible anywhere else in the world
Experience of a lifetime
Malcolm_C, May 2021
From the moment we stepped through the door we felt welcomed , were well informed, all aspects of safety were well explained .The gear that was provided was very clean and comfortable Our guide Scott was just awesome. Very friendly and knowledgeable . Gave us plenty of time to take photos and spend time taking in the amazing views made our experience one to remember and will highly recommend
Greta tour
Andrew_W, Jul 2020
Excellent tour and Scott the guide was great. The entire family loved the hiking, and we look forward to the next one. thanks Andrew
enthusiastically recommend!
Laurie_L, Mar 2020
absolutely worth every penny.... the views, the staff support, the explanations, the exhilaration of being present on anything that special.... if you can, do this!

Compare Similar Experiences

1 / 3
No Photo
Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour


3 hours
Free Cancellation
Likely to Sell Out
No Photo
Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike


4 hours
Free Cancellation
Likely to Sell Out
No Photo
Tandem Skydive 18,000ft from Franz Josef


3 hours
Free Cancellation
No Photo
Tandem Skydive 16,500ft from Franz Josef


3 hours
Free Cancellation

Customers Who Bought This Tour Also Bought

Explore Similar Things to Do