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9 Best Walks in Fox Glacier


Walking & hiking trails at Fox Glacier.

Discover the stunning landscape left in the wake of the Fox Glacier on the main hiking trails around Fox Glacier town. Whether you’re looking for an easy short walk or an overnight hike, there’s is certainly something to suit in this majestic area of the West Coast. Choose your walk with this list of walks in Fox Glacier!

Note that the Fox Glacier environment is ever-changing, with old tracks closing and new ones opening frequently. While we endeavour to keep this article up-to-date, it’s best to double check the status of the tracks at the local information centre once you arrive at Fox Glacier.

While you’re here, you might also be interested in 5 Fox Glacier Must-Dos and 5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Fox Glacier & Haast.

Haka Tours

1. Fox Glacier Valley Walk (1-hour return)

[UPDATE: this walk is closed due to the Glacier Access Road being washed away in a slip. It’s not expected that the road will open again soon]. Walk through the glacier valley of the Fox Glacier to a viewpoint of the Fox Glacier terminal face. The walk features waterfalls and minor hill climbs. Return the same way. Do not pass the barriers. Check out more ways to see the Fox Glacier in our 10 Things to Do in Fox Glacier.

Location: Glacier Access Road. 5km southeast of Fox Glacier town.

2. Lake Matheson (1h30min return)

This easy-going walk takes you through lush West Coast rainforest with several lookouts overlooking the reflective Lake Matheson. The Jetty Viewpoint is 20-minutes into the walk and offers the best views of the lake with reflections of the Southern Alps. Either turn back from here to make a 40-minute walk or complete the loop for a 1h30min walk. It’s one of the 10 West Coast Must-Dos!

Location: Cook Flat Road, 5km west of Fox Glacier town.

3. Minnehaha Walk (20-minute loop)

A walk suitable for children, wheelchairs and buggies, the Minnehaha Walk is a gentle walk through the vibrant rainforest. The track can be walked to from the village, and it’s even possible to see glowworms along the track after dark.

Location: Off State Highway 6, just after the Bella Vista Motel.

4. Moraine Walk (40 minutes return)

Walk through the bush that has grown out of the debris left from the retreat of the Fox Glacier.

Location: Glacier View Road, 3km southeast of Fox Glacier town.

5. River Walk Lookout (20 minutes return)

Experience the Fox Glacier valley on this short walk toward the river. Enjoy great views of the glacier along the way. The track continues through the forest crossing the 70m Fox River Bridge, built in 1929. The River Walk that used to continue from here is now closed, so you will need to return the same way.

Location: Glacier View Road, 3km southeast of Fox Glacier town.

6. Mt Fox Route (8 hours return)

For experienced hikers, treat yourself to this epic full-day hike up Mt Fox. It’s a challenging climb through the bush to trip point at 1,021m. Then follow the blue and orange markers through alpine grassland to 1,345m. The hike offers rewarding views of the Fox Glacier. It’s best to do this hike early morning before clouds roll in usually during the afternoon. Check with the local information centre for the status of the track.

Location: Thirsty Culvert parking area, 3km south of Fox Glacier.

7. Te Weheka Walkway (2h20min return)

[UPDATE: this walk is closed due to the Glacier Access Road being washed away in a slip. It’s not expected that the road will open again soon]. This walkway and cycleway connect Fox Glacier town to the Fox Glacier car park at the end of the Glacier Access Road. The walk is a well-graded and features lush native forest and views of the glacier valley.

Location: Off State Highway 6, just after the Bella Vista Motel.

8. Gillespies Beach Walks (5 minutes – 3h30mins return)

Head to the coast and you’ll discover a myriad of walking trails with spectacular views of the Southern Alps. Check out the Miners Cemetery Walk (5 minutes return), see gold mining relics on the Gillespies Bucket Dredge Walk (30 minutes return), or make it a longer walk on the Galway Beach Track (3h30mins return). [UPDATE: the Galway Beach Track is currently closed due to storm damage].

Location: Gillespies Beach Road, 21km west of Fox Glacier town.
PDTillman on Wikipedia

9. Copland Track (6-8 hours one way)

An adventurous hiking experience awaits on the Copland Track. There are creek and river crossings to tackle, which should not be attempted during or after heavy rain. Follow the orange markers along the trail. The Copland Track features magnificent forest, rivers and mountain scenery. At the end of the trail are Welcome Flat Hut and the natural Welcome Flat hot pools to ease your muscles.

Location: Well signposted off State Highway 6, 26km south of Fox Glacier town.
AndrewJohnMitchell on Flickr

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