Fox and Franz Joseph Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight
A Review Based on First-Hand Experiences
Glacier Helicopters operates scenic helicopter flights over the rugged West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The rides fly over spectacular alpine highlights, such as Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier and Mount Cook, and provide incredibly exciting glacier landings. To learn more about these unforgettable experiences, read the following review of the Fox and Franz Joseph Twin Glacier helicopter flight:
Standing in the midst of a vast, untouched snow field with only a few close friends, looking down at a far-reaching glacial terminal of snow, ice and waterfalls and looking up at endless majestic snow-covered mountains – the Franz Josef Glacier landing was an incredibly inspirational event, one of those memorable moments when everything seems to be put into a new prescriptive. I along with two others enjoyed this exploration of the alpine wonder as well as a 30 minute scenic flight over other magnificent natural highlights on the Fox and Franz Joseph Twin Glacier helicopter flight.
The adventure began at the Glacier Helicopter’s base in Franz Josef, where we were greeted by the enthusiastic crew and were given a safety briefing. We then followed our guide to a field of launching pads to await our ride. There, our anticipation grew enormously as we watched other helicopters take off and land next to us – and saw the many smiling faces hop out. Further, during the 10 minutes we waited, our knowledgeable guide provided us with background on the area, taught us about helicopter mechanics and happily captured plenty of photos of us.
When it landed, six of us quickly piled into the spacious, shiny red and white turbine Squirrel helicopter – and off we went, vertically high into the sky! Seated in the front, my girlfriend and I were completely surrounded by large, clear windows; with such uninhibited views, we easily forgot we were in a vehicle and felt fully immersed in the alpine wonderland. While learning of the area’s unique characteristics from our friendly and experienced pilot, we enjoyed unmatched views of iconic Mount Cook, of the very lengthy Fox Glacier, of the wide and steep Franz Josef Glacier, of Victoria Falls, as well as other waterfalls and creeks, and of all of the mountainous land in between.
It was truly remarkable, flying directly through such a diverse and impressive land unspoiled by man. It was nature in its truest and finest form as far as the eye could see. The large windows and our pilot flying close to the mountains helped us feel like we were exploring the alpine region in the open, but more exhilarating than the flight was landing on and stepping out onto the awe-inspiring Franz Josef Glacier – on an area that is otherwise largely inaccessible.
The scene could not have been more idyllic or more impressive. A fresh layer of snow had fallen the night before and we were on one of the first flights out in the very sunny morning, so our footprints were the only evidence people had been there. The snowfield was as vast as the towering mountains were high and as the ice was deep (300 metres deep in its deepest points). Here, all of us agreed we had never felt so alive.
As soon as we hopped out of the helicopter, we ran in different directions across the beautiful large, open snow field; we did several 360s, unsure of where to look first as every angle offered a breathtaking view of a massive mountain, of strange and stunning ice formations, of water rushing down rock and of unusual neves and crevasses, among many other spectacular sights.
Others in our group, who had never seen snow before, sported permanent ear to ear grins and instantly broke into a snow ball fight, before dropping to make snow angels. Because of the feeling of being so far from civilization in such a spectacularly scenic natural spot, one group member exclaimed, “This is what I imagine it would feel like to walk on the moon.” And it did indeed feel like we were worlds away – and, well, the air was pretty thin up there.
For a high like none other, opt for one of the unforgettable glacier helicopter flights. Anyone touring NZ’s South Island, it is worth making the trip there – there is no returning from Cloud Nine after the Fox and Franz Joseph Twin Glacier helicopter flight!