Located on the West Coast of the South Island, Fox Glacier is one of two famous attractions in the region known as Glacier Country.Fox is the name of both the glacier itself and the local village. While the glacier itself is the lesser known of the two in the region, it is definitely worth the visit. For a price, you are able to fly by helicopter and land on top of the glacier in order to explore its ice caves. Sadly on the day that we visited, the weather was too unclear to fly safely and all flights were suspended. The trail to view the glacier itself is short, but the scenery is stunning, particularly on a misty day. Be sure to bring a raincoat if visiting the West Coast, because you are guaranteed to experience plenty of it.
Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef, just like Fox, is the name of both the glacier itself and the neighboring village.To reach the glacier viewing point, a longer hike is required than that of fox glacier. The trail itself is absolutely stunning and gives you a clear view of the edge of the glacier. If you decide to stay in the Franz Josef village, I highly recommend Sir Cedrics Chateau Franz for accommodation, they’re a great backpackers located right in the middle of the village center. If you need evening entertainment, I suggest visiting Snakebite Brewery, they’re located on the main street of the village and have some of the best craft beers that I’ve had the pleasure of trying, along with the single best cider I have ever had, Cobra Berry Cider.
The Blue Pools are very easy to miss while driving to the two glacier villages. There is a small roadside stop that is located part way between Wanaka and Fox Glacier that is definitely worth keeping an eye out for. There is a short forest walk that arrives at a fork in a bright blue river with some stunning scenery.