Glacier Access

The Fox Glacier South Side Walk follows the south bank of the Fox River through ancient podocarp rainforest.

Ask our knowledgable team for more information on this walk.

Other optons to explore the Glaciers include Helicopter & snow landings which boast amazing views of not only the Glaciers, Mt Cook and also the local area.  Another fabulous option is to do a HeliHike, with a snow landing and a 2 hour walk on the glacier.  For more information talk to one of our team members.

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Get spectacular views of Fox Glacier/Te Moeke o Tuawe South Side Walk

  • Fitness required: Most fitnesses
  • Gradient:  Gradual incline
  • 6km return via same track (about 2 hour return)
  • Footwear required: Walking shoes or light tramping/hiking boots.

Description

  • The Fox Glacier South Side Walk follows the south bank of the Fox River through ancient podocarp rainforest. The track becomes narrower for a time and crosses ancient glacial moraine surfaces.  This section of track reveals how quickly plants establish here, and how the age of the forest reflects the various ages of the glacier moraines which it has colonised.  

    The first viewpoint of the glacier is soon reached, before continuing up valley. The track passes through an old car park and then winds gently downhill through the rainforest to a view point of Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe. Do not go past this point due to extreme flood hazard.

Getting there

  • Drive south for 2 km from the Fox Glacier Weheka township, cross the Fox River Bridge and park on the right hand side of the road heading south. Carefully cross the state highway on foot to where the track begins.

History and culture

The glacier holds added significance for local Māori as it is the moeka (final resting place) of their ancestor Tuawe.

Know before you go

What to expect:

  • Access: The track can be closed due to rock falls or flooded rivers. Glacier viewpoints are hundreds of metres from the face of the glacier. View daily glacier access update (external site) on Glacier Country website.

    Track surface: Parts of this track are over rough and uneven ground

    Change in elevation: +/- 100 m

Hazards

  • Rapidly changing weather: This walk is in an alpine region.
  • Icefall: Rocks and ice fall from the terminal face continuously with some pieces twice the size of a campervan! Never go over the barrier and stand close to the glacier face.
  • River surges: Glacial rivers can be dammed by ice falls and the dam could burst creating a huge surge of water and ice which floods the valley.
  • Rock fall: Heavy rain can destabilise steep valley walls, causing rock fall – do not stop in marked rock fall areas.
  • Flooding: Downpours can create flooding within minutes – follow the marked track, obey all signs and never cross barriers

Amenities

  • Toilets can be found at the start of the track and in Fox Glacier Weheka township.

Be prepared

Ensure you take:

  • layered warm and waterproof clothing
  • sturdy footwear.

All drone use must be authorised by DOC.  A concession is required to fly a drone on any public conservation land.

 

 

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