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I'm planning a trip to New Zealand, and I'd like to have a look at the Fox Glacier. Are there trails that I can walk with my own group, or do I have to pay a tour guide to see the glacier?

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There are trails you can use to hike to (or near) the glacier on your own. There are signs positioned daily showing the safe limit.

Most people use guides for travel on the Fox Glacier. You are allowed to hike on the Fox Glacier without a guide, IF you have the proper equipment and experience. You need a rope, crampons, helmet, ice axe, etc. Solo travel is not recommended.

http://www.newzealandtravelinsider.com/how-to-travel-guide/walk-climb-hike-alone-fox-glacier-franz-josef-glacier-new-zealand.htm

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-visit/west-coast/glaciers/fox-glacier-area/plan-and-prepare/visit-the-glaciers-safely/

Westland Tai Poutini National Park
State Highway 6, Franz Josef
phone 03 752 0796
westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz

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You can walk right up to the base of the glacier. There are walking paths from the town but it's a fairly long walk, think it took me at least 2 hours. You can also travel there by car or bus from town too.

  • Note that my understanding, based on a visit to the other popular West Coast glacier, the Franz Josef, is that the base of the glacier is probably cordoned off for safety reasons. Blocks of ice weighing many tons can collapse off the front of the glacier at any time, and people who have ignored the cordons have had some close calls. – Highly Irregular Dec 23 '14 at 9:44

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