Best time to visit New Zealand

Hiking through the Glaciers​ in New Zealand

New Zealand's glaciers are a great wonder of nature and should be included into your must-see list

Hiking through the Glaciers​
Hiking through the Glaciers​
Hiking through the Glaciers​

Have you ever thought what it is like to stroll along the icy tubes? Imagine that thick layers of blue ice are under your feet, on the right and on the left and above your head, just everywhere! It might become the reality if you visit New Zealand's glaciers located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park.

Franz Joseph Glacier is 12 kilometres long, du​ring high season it has over 2500 visitors per day.

Another accessible glacier is Fox Glacier which is 13 kilometres long and it is visited by a thousand tourists daily.

The best season to hike through New Zealand's glaciers is winter when the rainy weather is less frequent than in the rest of the year, and hence the icy surface is less slippery. Besides, the glaciers look more icy and spectacular in winter surroundings.

Practical info

When is the best time to see New Zealand’s glaciers?

The ideal time to admire the natural beauty of New Zealand's glaciers is during the winter season, from June to August. During this period, visitors can observe these frozen ice formations in their most icy and impressive state. Furthermore, the chances of rainfall are relatively low while the ice surface becomes less slippery, making hiking more enjoyable. Show more

Which glaciers can be found at Westland Tai Poutini National Park?

The two most accessible glaciers located at Westland Tai Poutini National Park are Fox Glacier and Franz Joseph Glacier. Franz Joseph Glacier can be found on the west coast of South Island, while Fox Glacier is located approximately 20 km away from Franz Joseph village. Visitors can participate in guided walks offered by local visitor centers and tour groups to experience these awe-inspiring natural wonders. Show more

How do Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier differ?

The significant differences between Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier are the length and accessibility. Franz Joseph Glacier is 12 km long and welcomes over 2500 visitors daily. On the other hand, Fox Glacier is 13 km long and visited by around 1000 tourists per day. Both glaciers provide access to hiking trails, but the level of difficulty is influenced by weather conditions and months of the year. Show more

What is the daily number of visitors during high season at Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier?

Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier receive different visitor numbers daily during high season. Franz Joseph Glacier is visited by over 2500 tourists per day, while Fox Glacier is visited by about 1000 visitors daily. These statistics show the increasing popularity of New Zealand's glaciers among tourists worldwide. Advanced booking is recommended to make the most of your glacier visit while taking into account weather and accessibility conditions. Show more

Are the hiking trails safe and well-kept in New Zealand’s glaciers?

Maintaining optimal hiking conditions on the trails around New Zealand's glaciers is challenging due to unpredictable weather and overcrowding. Hiking tours with experienced guides lead most hikes, but self-guided hikes are also an option. It is critical to adhere to the recommended paths and stay within designated areas. Visitors should also consider safety as a priority throughout their journey and prepare the appropriate gear. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin