Squeezed in between the Franz Josef glacier and its younger, equally impressive Fox glacier is the small township of Fox Glacier. The town’s economy is almost entirely driven by the tourism industry that the glaciers bring. The piercing blue of the deep ice shelves that precede the glacier are views that visitors can take part in. Guided tours of the glaciers are conducted daily and cater to most physical fitness levels, however a base fitness level is expected. Scenic walks along exposed ridges allow you to immerse yourself in the landscape, while helicopter rides above the glaciers give you a clear idea of the massive expanse of ice the glaciers are. Guided tours will take you all the way up to the ice fall for those that want to just dip their toes in the waters of adventure. The more spirited ones can be guided even further up the icefall to try their hand at ice climbing, or for the true bravehearts, a hike all the way up to Chancellor Dome, where a truly unobstructed view of New Zealand’s Southern Alps beckons. Hidden inside the icy chasms of Fox glacier lie glow worm caves as well!
Much like the Franz Josef glacier, the Fox glacier starts up from their peaks and descends until almost reaching sea level. The Fox glacier is also the faster moving of the two glaciers and is nourished by four other rivers. The terminal face of Fox Glacier is located just 5 km away from the centre of the township and therefore makes it hugely accessible as well.
Lake Matheson, a stone’s throw away from the Fox Glacier is also a popular natural tourist attraction in the area. On clear days, Mount Cook’s reflection can be seen on the lake’s surface and attracts a whole host of photographers looking to capture the moment.
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