Fox or Franz Josef? Not sure which glacier to choose?

Learn about the differences between Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, their townships and why it's important you arrive at the correct base for your flight. Most importantly, our glaciers are receding. The only wrong decision would be to miss the opportunity to experience them before they disappear forever.


  • Fox Glacier is the biggest of the two West Coast glaciers.
  • It's 2km longer than Franz Josef Glacier and every bit as impressive.
  • It has a gradual incline, provides views of the mighty Mount Cook and finishes 12.5 km from the Tasman Sea.
  • Fox is also home to nearby stunning Lake Matheson with its picture-perfect mountain reflections.
  • The township of Fox is likely preferred by those wanting a quieter pace favouring 'off the beaten track' style experiences and natural sights.
  • Fox and Franz Josef are 30 mins drive from each other. With 4 flights departing from Fox.
  • If you choose to stay here you will only ever be 10 mins max away from the Fox Glacier Helicopter base.
  • If you would prefer to stay in Fox but start your flight in Franz you will need to leave at least an hour before your flight time in order to check in 30 mins before your flight.


  • Franz Josef glacier is steeper than Fox glacier so some see it as more dramatic.
  • Finishing 19km from the coast, it's the most affected by conditions causing advances and retreats.
  • Franz Josef is the busiest of the two glaciers.
  • Franz is more developed than the Fox townships with a wider range of accommodation, restaurants and shops.
  • Home to the West Coast Wildlife Centre, the Glacier Hot Pools and the Okarito Lagoon. Go explore!
  • Fox and Franz Josef are 30 mins drive apart. We have 3 flights that depart from Franz.
  • If you choose to stay in Franz you will only ever be 10 mins away from the Franz Glacier Helicopters base.
  • If you would prefer to stay in Franz but do a flight from Fox you will need to leave at least 1 hour before your flight time to check in 30 mins before your flight.
Glacier Locations

Flights Paths | Click a flight description to book

Flight paths

Snow Landing

This flight explores the awe-inspiring ice falls of the Fox or Franz Josef Glaciers. The flight includes a snow landing, an excellent opportunity to really take in the surroundings and breathe the clean alpine air. Experience the seclusion of a snow landing in this largely inaccessible alpine region.

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Twin Glacier

Explore by helicopter the ancient icefalls of Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Experience the thrill of a snow landing that sets you up for some spectacular photo opportunities and unforgettable memories.

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Fox Glacier & Mount cook

Imagine flying the entire length of the Fox Glacier, then soaring at eye level against the west face of Aoraki/Mount Cook.

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Mount Cook Spectacular

The ultimate glacier experience – this flight covers it all! Snow landings, glacier icefalls, crevasses and neves, views from ocean to alps. Cross the Southern Alps’ rugged spine and circle the peak of magnificent Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain.

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Select Departure Location

Franz Josef OR Fox Glacier

Learn more about each departure location here