Franz Josef or Fox Glacier?

Feb 27th, 2016, 07:20 AM
  #1  
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Franz Josef or Fox Glacier?

I am fine tuning my trip and am wondering if there is a huge difference between Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, and if so, what is the difference. I will be visiting in mid-May and do not plan to do a heli-hike. Thanks!
12kelsy is offline  
Feb 27th, 2016, 11:56 AM
  #2  
 
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IME very little, kelsey, particularly as now you can only walk up to them, not onto them, unless you do a hell-hike [which you have said you don't want to do].

I would definitely make time to go to Lake Matheson - it was lovely - but watch out for the sand flies.
annhig is offline  
Feb 27th, 2016, 03:27 PM
  #3  
 
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There's a big difference in towns. Franz will have more shops, accommodation options, has the hot pools (although not stellar), a Kiwi exhibit, and you can do kayak tours from there. To walk to the terminal face viewing area is a 7km return walk.

Fox township is much smaller (really only a block long!). To walk to the terminal face viewing area is a 3km return walk. It has the bonus of Lake Matheson being a 5-minute drive down the road.

Both have an option for glow-worm viewing.
deSchenke is offline  
Feb 27th, 2016, 05:04 PM
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As mentioned above, the biggest difference is in village size and walking distance to the terminal face of each glacier (Fox - hour return, Franz 90 minutes return, at least that's what it takes us with plenty of photo stops).

Franz is closer to Okarito, Fox is closer to Lake Matheson and Gillespies Beach. Okarito is home to the only licensed operator on the South Island for kiwi viewing in the wild.

We've stayed in both several times, but slightly prefer Franz over Fox for the better choice of accommodation and restaurants and the hot pools, which feel pretty good after a day of hiking.

Flip a coin...
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 11:13 AM
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Are you self-driving? It's very easy to stay in Franz township, with more accommodation/eating options, and drive through to Fox where you can drive up to the walks to the glacier view points, and drive to Lake Matheson.It's only 23km from Franz to Fox, and the scenery aint half bad.
capekidnappers is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 11:46 AM
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that's exactly what we did - it's very easy, no chance of getting lost!
annhig is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 12:25 PM
  #7  
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Thanks for the feedback. Yes, we will be self-driving so have lots of flexibility.
12kelsy is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 02:21 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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And do visit Okarito - take a kayak or boat trip on the lagoon, walk along the beach, go on the night walk looking for kiwi ...
capekidnappers is offline  
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