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Ice Caves - Heli Hike or Glacier Walk

Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 01:32 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Ice Caves - Heli Hike or Glacier Walk

I am going to either Franz Josef or Fox Glacier in April and will be going on either a heli-hike or a 1/2 day glacier walk. I realise nature is unpredictable however am I more likely to see ice-caves on a heli hike or on a glacier walk?

Thanks for your help!
DY1 is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 03:45 AM
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definitely the heli hike because you are much further up on the glacier
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 04:33 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I agree with Tim & Liz. We did the heli-hike at Fox Glacier on January 28 and we saw 3 ice caves. From the air the glacier may look somewhat flat but once you land you'll see that there are many crevices and obstacles to manuever around. Although it looks like you will get fairly far along the glacier in 3 hours you really do not so it is best to pick the optimal location to start at. Also when we were on the heli-hike, we were the only group there so we had the whole glacier and all the ice caves to ourselves which allowed us to explore them without feeling rushed.
CDJD is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Hi! I did the 3/4 day hike on Franz Josef Glacier on Feb. 25. Luckily we had an amazing day with no rain, and it was a warm day on the glacier. Let me tell you, my boyfriend and I were ssssoooo glad we did not do the full day hike. The 3/4 day hike was exhausting. If we could do it again, we would definitely opt for the heli-hike even though it costs significantly more.

Don't get me wrong, it an amazing hike, BUT we had participated in all day physical activities the previous 2 days:
Thursday, Feb. 23: sea kayaking at Abel Tasman National Park, then drove to Westport
Friday, Feb. 24: drove Westport to Greymouth for black water rafting, then drove to Franz Josef
We were so exhausted from the kayaking, caving, and driving, even before starting our hike on the glacier.

With the heli-hike, you get an amazing view of the glacier, AND you get to hike around the fun parts of the glacier. We saw caves and crevices on our hike, but getting to that area was a lot of work. Also, if you have knee problems hiking down the glacier will not be fun.

My advice HELI-HIKE!!!!!


To view my New Zealand pictures, paste and copy the link below into your web browser:

The album includes pics from our glacier hike!!!

GTAnnaM is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 09:23 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2
Thank you for all your feedback.

I will book the heli-hike then, particularly since the Glacier walk sounds a bit taxing. I'll be going with my parents who are around 60 y.o. so I think the less physical activity there is the better.

Fingers crossed the weather holds up on the day.

DY1 is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 93
Hi, I did the heli hike in Franz Josef and it was great. I think it was 1/2 day and they rented great boots. This is one of the highlights of my trip to NZ and of course swimming with dolphins !! Enjoy.
emmalee_71 is offline  
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