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7 Ways to Take on New Zealand’s Glaciers

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Awesome ways to see the glaciers in New Zealand

That’s right, there’s more to exploring the glaciers than a heli-tour! Famous New Zealand glaciers attract backpackers looking for a unique ice adventure, such as the mammoth Franz Josef, Fox and Tasman Glaciers. Read on for the fun ways to see the glaciers of New Zealand.

With the retreat of glaciers, especially Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, there is no time like the present to see a glacier before it is gone forever. New Zealand is a mountainous country with heaps of glaciers to see, most commonly along the Southern Alps of the South Island. What’s more, there are so many fascinating facts about them seen here in 10 Facts You Did Not Know About New Zealand’s Glaciers.

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1. Hike around the glaciers

Hiking tracks in the glaciers’ surrounding mountains provide stunning views of the huge ice formation. Hiking is a backpacker budget-friendly option for seeing glaciers, for example, the glaciers in the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park; Hooker Glacier, Mueller Glacier and Tasman Glacier, can be walked around. Also the Rob Roy Glacier in the Mt Aspiring National Park (pictured).

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2. Hike on top of New Zealand’s glaciers

Tours on top of a glacier can be achieved by a helicopter flight to get on top of the ice. Guides can even take you into the ice on Fox Glacier. New cracks in the ice are being discovered all the time for people to delve into! The most popular locations to heli-hike on a glacier are at Franz Josef, Fox Glacier and on the Tasman Glacier.

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3. Kayak on a glacial lake

Some of New Zealand’s most magnificent glaciers have lakes at their base, such as the glaciers in the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. Plus, several lakes have been formed by the glaciers such as Lake Mapourika in Franz Josef, famous for its vivid reflections. This offers a unique perspective from the water.

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4. Hike below a glacier

Walking tracks can take you up glacier valleys leading to the huge ice formation that created the valley! One example is the Pakihi Walk on Franz and Mt Fox Route. For more walks along glacier valleys to the glaciers’ terminal face, take a look at Glacier Country – Guide for Backpackers.

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5. Fly above a glacier

Scenic flights by helicopter or plane give a nice relaxed view. Skydiving, however, mixes awesome views with an adrenaline rush! What’s more, New Zealand’s highest skydive with some of the most epic mountain and glacier scenery can be experienced here with Skydive Franz.

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6. Ski down a glacier

From July to September, the Tasman Glacier in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park becomes a nice long ski run, accessed by heliskiing or ski plane.

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7. Dive in

After you have done all of the above, relax in the rainforest hot pools just at the Franz Josef township.

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