Combine two trips to get an overall experience of Glacier Country. Learn, discover and enjoy on these fully guided relaxed walks with a knowledgeable New Zealand local guide, all in one day. Learn about glaciology, local geology and history of the area as well as local legends. Discover our local flora and fauna in these unique temperate rainforests, including seasonal native orchids, mushrooms and birds, and you may be lucky enough to spot wild tahr and chamois in the riverbeds and surrounding hills in the valley. Appreciate our small groups by being able to repeatedly engage with your guide during your tour, asking questions and all the while stopping for photo opportunities at waterfalls, blocks of ice, spectacular mountain, lagoon, beach or glacier views. Walk off the beaten path and see more through our eyes. Relish our morning or afternoon tea with a view.
Duration: 6-7 hours approx
Prices: $160 per adult, child (10-15yrs) $80.00, not recommended for children under 10 years. Minimum pax numbers apply.
Departure Times: Winter: 11:00am. Summer: 1:30pm (alternative departure times available, please enquire).
All of our tours include:
- Free hot drinks (tea/coffee/hot chocolate) and biscuits
- Raincoats, over-trousers and large heavy-duty umbrellas to keep you dry
- Walking poles and sunscreen
- We have a limited supply of tramping boots
- Complimentary transfers from your accommodation
- A knowledgeable New Zealand guide
FOX GLACIER + LAKE MATHESON
From your accommodation in Franz Josef or Fox Glacier, we drive to the Fox Glacier South side car park (30 mins from Franz Josef, 5 mins from Fox township).
This track runs through lush historic glaciated rainforest in Westland Tai Poutini National Park, with focal points of huge rata, rimu trees and moss.
Views of Fox Glacier, Fox neve, Mt Tasman, one of NZ's highest mountains. Enjoy a cup of tea with a view and the opportunity to chat with your knowledgeable local guide - another great advantage of our small group tours.
Information on glaciation, geothermology (inc geothermal spring to dip your hand in) geology, flora and fauna.
* Please note this tour does not get close or to view the terminal face of the glacier due to safety reasons.
Then head to the iconic Lake Matheson in the evening - renowned for it's majestic mirror-like reflections this time of day. Treasure hunt with your knowledgeable guide for fungi, native orchids and native birds.
Stop for a cup of tea and a chat with picturesque landscape of Lake Matheson. This lake is a non-commercial and protected lake, part of the UNISCO World Heritage area and therefore you won't be disturbed by kayakers or noisy jet boats.
A suitable day for older kids.
FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER + OKARITO
This is our 'Mountains to the sea' tour. This combo of Franz Josef Eco Tour and Okarito Eco Tour starts with a short drive in our courtesy vehicle to the Franz Josef Glacier car park. Enjoy walking through regenerating forest for your first glimpse of the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier. Your experienced guide will take you off the beaten track as much as they safely can, to discover hidden waterfalls and 'dead' ice, and lots of other treasures. Your guide will keep you captivated with an amazing interpretation of glaciation, geology and the natural history of this incredibly dynamic environment. Head then to Okarito in our courtesy van after a short break in Franz Josef township. Experience the history and birdlife of Okarito village - an old gold mining village. Walk up to a viewpoint with 360° views of Okarito beach, Okarito lagoon, 3 mile lagoon, Okarito Village, Franz Josef Glacier and Mt Cook and Mt Tasman - NZ's highest peaks.
This day is a moderate walk suitable for older kids and up - we cater to suit your needs in our nice small groups. Great photo opportunities around every corner.
FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER + LAKE MATHESON
Enjoy our Franz Josef Eco Tour and Lake Matheson Eco tour, together in one day. Take a stroll up the Franz Josef Glacier Valley during the morning or afternoon and learn about local flora, fauna, geology, ecology and glaciology from your experienced friendly local guide in our small group tours.
Loads of one-on-one time with your guide, tea and coffee breaks, brilliant photography opportunities, waterfalls, rivers and glacier views.
Have a break in Franz Josef township before heading to the iconic Lake Matheson in the evening - renowned for it's majestic mirror-like reflections this time of day. Treasure hunt with your knowledgeable guide for fungi, native orchids and native birds.
Stop for a cup of tea and a chat with picturesque landscape of Lake Matheson. this lake is a non-commercial and protected lake, part of the UNISCO World Heritage area and therefore you won't be disturbed by kayakers or noisy jet boats.
FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER + FOX GLACIER
Visit both glaciers in one day for the full glacier experience! Learn the differences and similarities between two of the biggest glaciers in New Zealand.
This Glacier Combo tour starts with a short drive in our courtesy vehicle from our office or your accommodation, to the Franz Josef Glacier car park. Enjoy walking through regenerating forest for your first glimpse of the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier. Your experienced guide will take you off the beaten track as much as they can safely, to discover hidden waterfalls and 'dead' ice, and lots of other treasures. Your guide will keep you captivated with an amazing interpretation of glaciation, geology and the natural history of this incredibly dynamic environment. Great photo opportunities are everywhere!
Enjoy a short break in Franz Josef Township, then we head over to the Fox Glacier South side car park (30 mins from Franz Josef, 5 mins from Fox township).
This beautiful track runs through lush historic glaciated rainforest in Westland Tai Poutini National Park, with focal points of huge rata, rimu trees and native mosses.
Views of Fox Glacier, Fox neve, Mt Tasman, one of NZ's highest mountains. Information on glaciation, geomorphology (inc geothermal spring to dip your hand in) geology, flora and fauna.
Stop for a cup of tea with a view at each glacier and enjoy the opportunity to take photos and chat one on one with your knowledgeable local guide - a great advantage of our small groups.
*Please note this tour does not get close or to view the terminal face of the Fox Glacier due to safety reasons.
"It was an amazing day with all gear that was needed fully supplied as part of the deal - if needed ie boots wet weather gear. I cant believe that one man could hold such interesting indepth glacial, bushcraft and local knowledge. Then deliver it back to our group in such a fun way. We as a family thoroughly enjoyed our adventures off the beaten path even though the weather was against us in the early part. We really had the most fantastic day and are eager to come back and enjoy more adventures with Cliff and the awesome team, we seriously cant recommend them enough." 2021 TripAdvisor review by Shari208
DISCOVER OKARITO BOAT & WALK TOUR PACKAGE
Adult (Ages 16+): $185.00
Child (Ages 4-15): $100.00
Infant (Ages 0-3): FREE
Departure Times: Summer 9:00am (1st Oct - 31st March); Winter 10:00am (1st April - 30 September)
Did you know?
Okarito lagoon is New Zealand's largest unmodified wetland area - surrounded by national park and rainforest, home to a variety of wading and forest birds and takes a special place in the history books of the West Coast.
Join Paula and Swade onboard the 'Explorer Douglas'. During your 2 hour EcoTour they engage in both an informative and friendly way to help you discover the absolute magic of Okarito and its stunning environment - from wetlands to rainforest and mountain landscapes, and an amazing diverse range of bird life.
Then join us at Glacier Valley Eco Tours on our Okarito Eco Tour - a 2.5 hour easy guided walk with one of our knowledgeable local guides. Explore the old gold mining township of Okarito, and the walks it has to offer. Mountain and glacier views, flora and fauna, unique birds and wildlife, lagoon, beach, rich history and amazing sunsets; this is one of New Zealand's hidden gems. We can tailor this trip to suit you – and if you like photography, then we never turn down the opportunity to pop in to see world renowned Andris Apses' photography gallery while we are there!
What to Bring
Outdoor clothing for the day's weather conditions, spare warm top layer of clothing, comfortable walking shoes, sun hat, sunblock, lip balm, sunglasses, camera and water bottle.
- 2 hours guided tour on the "Explorer Douglas" - customised for the Okarito lagoon and wetlands
- Lunch ($20 value) included for free!
- Hot drink and home baked treat on board
- Bookmark with a check list for the birds you have seen while on board
- Guided tour of Okarito township and forest walk
- Hot drink and biscuits
* Please note pickups are not available for this tour - please self drive to Okarito
WALK & SOAK FRANZ JOSEF PACKAGE
Adult (Ages 16+): $190.00 per couple
Adults only, no children
9:30am and 1:30pm
3.5 - 4 hours
Enjoy our relaxed informative guided tour of the Franz Josef Glacier valley, followed by a luxurious private hot tub for two at the new Waiho Hot Tubs Franz Josef.
Your experienced guide will drive you to the Franz Josef Glacier carpark to begin your guided tour of this unique and infamous glacier valley. Nestled in thick historic West Coast forest and a stone's throw from wild black sand beaches, this is one of the world's most unusual glaciers. Beautiful blue skies or magical misty rain - whatever the weather - you will feel like you are in Narnia or LOTR. With easy walking at your pace, information on glaciology, geology, geomorphology, flora & fauna, local legends, history and small guided groups with fantastic guides, you will experience this glacier in style and in the best hands with the only local company.
Wander past glacier rivers and streams and through beautiful podocarp forest; discover hidden natural treasures like native snails, wild native mushrooms and dozens of species of native orchids; listen to native bird song and waterfalls; see if you can spot a Chamois or a Tahr on the huge snow-capped mountains above while drinking a cup of tea and talking one-on-one with your guide. This tour will be a highlight of your travels and you won't regret splashing out for a guided tour of this beautiful area of New Zealand.
Hidden in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, the Waiho Hot Tubs in Franz Josef Glacier is the perfect way to unwind after your guided walk. Continue to enjoy nature while indulging in your own private hot tub. With fresh water every time and the ability to set your own temperature, you can't help but enjoy these newly built pools on the West Coast. Nestled in amongst the West Coast bush, your hot tub is your own little retreat - enjoy with friends or family and relish in the warmth. Refilled with West Coast mountain water after every use, with the ability to control the temperature with our wood burner - add cold water or stoke up the fire.
All sessions are for sixty minutes.
Private dry shelter to keep your personal belonging in.
Perfect in the sun or magical in the rain.
Heated to around 39 degrees Celsius with the temperature easily adjusted by you.
Walk & Soak Package includes:
- Knowledgeable guide
- Hot drinks and biscuits
- Fresh drinking water for your hot tub
BYO nibbles and drinks (no glass please - wine goblets available).
Towel hire available for gold coin donation to the community fund.
From now until 24th December only - Add on one night's accommodation at Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef for just $100 (1-2 people) which includes FREE bike hire in Franz Josef village!
If booking on the same day please call to arrange.