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Things To Do In Fox Glacier

Browse our top picks for things to do, see and places to eat in Fox Glacier!

Water Fall In Nature West Coast New Zealand

Walk & Hike

Our top picks for hikes in and around Fox Glacier are:

  • Lake Matheson Walk: This easy trail offers stunning views of Lake Matheson and the surrounding mountains. It takes approximately 1.5 hours for a return trip.

  • Minnehaha Walk: A short 20-minute loop that takes you through the lush rainforest and beautiful waterfalls.

  • Mt Fox:  Not for the faint-hearted! Allow a full day for this challenging but very rewarding hike with views over Fox Glacier and the Tasman Ocean

  • Fox Glacier Valley Walk: An easy 2.6-kilometer return hike that allows you to explore the scenic Fox Glacier Valley.

  • Lake Gault Track: Embark on a scenic hike along a historic trail that winds its way through an ancient podocarp forest, gradually ascending to offer breathtaking views of Aoraki/Mount Cook. If the weather is clear, you'll be treated to a mesmerizing sight of the mountain landscape mirrored in the tranquil waters of Lake Gault.

  • Moraine Walk: Explore old moraine surfaces on this easy, short walk, south of Fox Glacier township. 4km return. 


Fox Glacier Heli-Hike

Fox Glacier Guides offers thrilling tours for visitors to explore the iconic Fox Glacier. With Heli-hiking, ice climbing, and mountain adventures, they provide unforgettable experiences in stunning glacier landscapes. Choose from various tour options catering to different fitness levels and time frames. Expert guides and all necessary equipment are provided for a safe and exhilarating adventure on the Fox Glacier. Book your extraordinary experience with Fox Glacier Guides today.

Image by Jackman Chiu
Fox Glacier Heli Hike
Helicopter Tour Near Fox Glacier West Coast New Zealand Gold Helicopter Landed On Top Of Snowy Southern Alps Mountain

Helicopter Tours

HeliServices.NZ  offers scenic helicopter tours over the stunning Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier, and more. With snow landings available, guests can experience the beauty of iconic glaciers from a bird's eye view.  Choose from a variety of flight durations and enjoy breathtaking views of the Southern Alps. Book your unforgettable adventure with HeliServices NZ.

Helicopter Tour

Eat & Drink

Our top picks for food and drink in Fox Glacier are: 

  • Cook Saddle Cafe & Saloon for evening dining and day food!

  • Betsy Jane Eatery & Bar for evening dining

  • Matheson Cafe for coffee and day food! Located near the trail start of the famous Lake Matheson loop trail.

  • On The Spot is a grocery store offering a good selection of food and general supplies if you plan to eat in.

Image by Marissa Grootes
Eat & Drink
Fox Glacier Glow Worm Dell

Glow Worms

The Fox Glacier glow worms can be found on the Minnehaha Walking Track, just a short walk from the town center. Look for their delicate strings during the day and return at night with a torch to witness their bioluminescent beauty. The Minnehaha Walk is an easy  1.2-kilometer loop that takes about 20 minutes to complete. The best time to visit is 30 minutes to an hour after sunset. Glow worms are most commonly seen in spring (September to November) but can also be spotted during the warmer months (December to March). 

Glow Worms

Fox Glacier View Point/ Te Kopikopiko o te waka

Discover Te Kopikopiko o te Waka: Cultural Haven in Nature's Beauty. Once known as Peak View, this site is now a cherished Tohu Whenua site born from Ngati Mahaki, Conservation, and Fox Glacier collaboration in 2022. Stroll easy pathways, feel an ancestral connection through a waka, and use the plane table to spot Southern Alps' peaks on clear days.

Legend: 'Capsized canoe' story of Southern Alps' birth and Aoraki's legacy, etched in Ngāi Tahu lore.

Find it: Off State Highway 6, Cook Flat Road, before Clearwater Creek Bridge.

Fox Glacier New Zealand
Fox Gacier Lookout
Lake Matheson New Zealand

Lake Matheson

Explore Lake Matheson, a natural wonder near Fox Glacier. Its dark waters craft a perfect reflection of Aoraki (Mount Cook) and Mount Tasman on calm days. Wander through ancient forest, cross the Clearwater River bridge, and reach a pontoon extending into the lake. Native eels and water birds thrive beneath the surface, making it a significant gathering place for Maori. Experience 14,000 years of history in a 40-minute walk or 1.5-hour lakeside circuit, capped with a meal at Lake Matheson Cafe.

Lake Matheson

Bird & Wildlife

Discover an enchanting wildlife journey during your visit to Fox Glacier. Encounter the mesmerizing world of native birds, including the iconic Tui, cheeky Kea, and melodious Bellbird. Immerse yourself in the beauty of our unique fauna and witness the breathtaking landscapes that serve as their backdrop. Delve into an intimate experience with the diverse bird species that call this region home, offering an up-close encounter with New Zealand's wild side at its finest.

New Zealand Kea Bird
Bird & Wildlife
The Journey To And From
Image by Katie McBroom
Image by Katie McBroom

The Journey To & From

Embark on a captivating journey between Christchurch and Fox Glacier, where every mile is a story waiting to be told. Explore the rugged beauty of Arthur's Pass, marvel at the teal waters of Lake Tekapo, and lose yourself in the enchanting Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Discover the historic gold rush town of Hokitika, famous for its greenstone and artistry. Finally, arrive at Fox Glacier, where nature's icy masterpiece awaits your exploration.

Our Top Stop Offs on the Christchurch - Queenstown Loop (via Fox Glacier):

  • Arthur's Pass National Park

  • Aoraki/Mount Cook

  • Lake Tekapo

  • Franz Josef Glacier

  • Hokitika Gorge

  • Lake Wanaka

  • Blue Pooks near Makarora

  • Haast Pass

  • Thunder Creek Falls

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