9 Best Walks in Fox Glacier© NZPocketGuide.com
9 Best Walks in Fox Glacier

9 Best Walks in Fox Glacier

© NZPocketGuide.com
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Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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Walking and 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 our Fox Glacier destination category.

1. 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 (3 miles) west of Fox Glacier town.

9 Best Walks in Fox Glacier© NZPocketGuide.com

2. 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.

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3. Moraine Walk (40 Minutes Return)

Walk through the bush that has grown out of the debris left from the retreat of the Fox Glacier. Find out more about this walk on the Department of Conservation.

Location: Glacier View Road, 3km (2 miles) southeast of Fox Glacier town.

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4. 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 (230ft) 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 (2 miles) southeast of Fox Glacier town.

pxhere © pxhere

5. 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 (3,350ft). Then follow the blue and orange markers through alpine grassland to 1,345m (4,413ft). 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 (2 miles) south of Fox Glacier.

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6. 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).

Location: Gillespies Beach Road, 21km (13 miles) west of Fox Glacier town.

PDTillman on Wikipedia© PDTillman on Wikipedia

7. 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 (16 miles) south of Fox Glacier town.

AndrewJohnMitchell on Flickr© AndrewJohnMitchell on Flickr

8. Fox Glacier South Side Walkway (2-hour Return)

Walk through the glacier valley of the Fox Glacier to a viewpoint of the Fox Glacier terminal face. The walk features rainforest and gentle climbs up glacier moraines. 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, as well as the other 10 Things to See in New Zealand Before They Disappear.

Location: Glacier Access Road. 5km (3 miles) southeast of Fox Glacier town.

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9. Te Weheka Walkway (2h20min Return)

[UPDATE: this walk is only open up to the landslip. It’s not expected that the road will open again soon. More information can be found on the DOC website].

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.

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The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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