1. Hike around the glaciers
Hiking tracks in the glaciers’ surrounding mountains provide stunning views of the huge ice formation. Hikingis 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).
2. Hikeon 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.
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.
4. Hikebelow 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.
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.
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.
After you have done all of the above, relax in the rainforest hot pools just at the Franz Josef township.