Combine two trips to get an overall experience of the Glacier Country area. 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: 2 tours - $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 or 3:00pm for sunset tours (alternative departure times available, please enquire).
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 + ŌKĀRITO
This is our 'Mountains to the sea' tour. This combo of Franz Josef Eco Tour and Ōkārito 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 Ōkārito in our courtesy van after a short break in Franz Josef township. Experience the history and birdlife of Ōkārito village - an old gold mining village. Walk up to a viewpoint with 360° views of Ōkārito beach, Ōkārito lagoon, 3 mile lagoon, Ōkārito 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.
BAC To Nature:
Bird & Conservation Package Tour
COME AND EXPERIENCE THE CONSERVATION AND BIRDING STORY OF THE WEST COAST!
Isolated, independent, caring, kiwi communities invite you to 'live like a local' and share their stories. From the eco-sourcing of our seeds, to our kiwi release and conservation programmes, predator control, and stunning array of birdlife, plus:
- You will make a difference.
- A percentage of all activity fees will be redirected to support our on-the-ground conservation projects
BIRD & CONSERVATION PACKAGE
A 6 night/7day tour focused on the unique and diverse birdlife and ecosystems of the West Coast includes:
- Experienced operators passionate about conservation and focused on quality informative experiences
- A variety of conservation programmes and tours comprising 2-night stays in 3 iconic West Coast environments
- Diverse, educational and focused activities/tours exploring our native flora and fauna, particularly birdlife and the preservation/restoration of the delicate ecosystems essential for their survival
- All bookings contribute to a variety of conservation efforts E.g.: West Coast Penguin Trust, Project Early Bird (predator control), Ōkārito Native Plants Nursery, etc
FOR FULL DETAILS AND FURTHER INFORMATION: email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER + FOX GLACIER
Photo Credit: Photo 1 Ben Sarten Imagery; Photo 2 Rina Sjardin-Thompson
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.
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!
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) geology, flora and fauna.
"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 ŌKĀRITO - BOAT & WALK TOUR PACKAGE
Adult (Ages 16+): $230.00
Child (Ages 4-15): $100.00
Infant (Ages 0-3): FREE
Summer 9:00am (1st Oct - 30st April); Winter 10:00am (1st May - 30 September)
Did you know?
Ōkārito 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 Ōkārito 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 Ōkārito Eco Tour - see our half days walk page for more info
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 Ōkārito lagoon and wetlands
- Lunch ($20 value) included
- 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 Ōkārito township and forest walk
- Hot drink and biscuits
- Donation to the Ōkārito Native Plant Nursery
* Please note pickups are not available for this tour - please self drive to Ōkārito
*ALSO NEW* - Offset your travel carbon footprint and donate to our local Riparian planting program
Te Taiao… Working together, Ōkārito Boat Tours and Glacier Valley Eco Tours have now launched a new program in which visitors can opt in to help offset their travel carbon footprint. By choosing to add a $5 donation to the price of a tour, visitors will be purchasing an eco- sourced tree seedling from our Ōkārito Community Native Plant Nursery which will in turn be planted on a nominated local farm to assist with riparian and restoration planting.
This will help to provide even more protection for our waterways and help to create wildlife corridors and food sources for our native insects and birds.
"Cliff took us on the Trig Walk and the Ōkārito area after a morning with Ōkārito Boat tours. Our afternoon began with a delicious picnic lunch while Cliff explained some of the history of Ōkārito. Followed by the walk with interesting local plants pointed out along the way. The view from the top of the walk is breathtaking and an unexpected bonus was afternoon tea as we took in the view. Highly recommend. Yes you could do the walk yourself but you gain so much more history and information accompanying Cliff." 5* Trip Advisor from Melanie, Australia
WALK & SOAK FRANZ JOSEF PACKAGE
CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE ONLINE DUE TO LIMITED DEMAND - SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE - GIVE US A CALL TO SEE IF THIS IS AVAILABLE
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. See our Franz Josef 2 hr tour for more details.
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!
ALL 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
- Complimentary pick-up and drop-off from your accommodation
- A knowledgeable New Zealand guide
- Best family value tours with 15 years and under half price, 3 years and under FREE
- Free use of Macpac Baby Carrier for under 3 year olds
- Tramping boots available
Please note that our tours do not climb on the glacier
If booking on the same day please call to arrange.