Glaciers are disappearing at a rapid rate due to climate change. If seeing a glacier in-person happens to be on your bucket list, head to New Zealand for the experience of a lifetime. New Zealand Eco Tours offers a great way to experience the terrain up close. One company, Glacier Valley Eco Tours is owned and operated by husband and wife Cliff & Tash Goodwin. They run a one-of-a-kind adventure tour company.
New Zealand Glacier Valley Eco Tours
The packages range from half day to full-day, to combo tours. The guided easy nature walks are for all ages in Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier and Okarito on the West Coast of New Zealand.
Okarito Boat & Walk Tour
Okarito lagoon is New Zealand’s largest unmodified wetland area. The Westland Tai Poutini National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Area), and the rainforest surround it, host a variety of wading and forest birds. The Okarito Boat and Walk Tour features a two hour comprehensive look at the wetlands with visually astounding scenic views of the rainforest and mountain landscapes and an amazingly diverse range of bird life.
Twin Lakes Tour
Or, take a Twin Lakes Tour and visit two of Glacier Country’s most stunning mirror lakes in one day – Lake Matheson (see below image) and Lake Gault. Lake Gault is Glacier Country’s newest walking trail that takes you partway around the Lake Matheson track and then gradually climbs 200 m through ancient podocarp forest with several small stream crossings. The lookout spot offers stirring panoramic views of the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. On a calm day, the surface of Lake Gault perfectly reflects these peaks.
Franz Josef Glacier Tour
The Franz Josef Glacier tour guides hikers as close as one can currently get to the Franz Josef Glacier on foot. Soak up the incredible views of Franz Josef Glacier (Ka Roimata O Hine Hukatere) in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Capture photos of amazing glacier, waterfall and mountain views. More experienced hikers can choose more advanced treks.
New Zealand Glacier Valley Eco Tours Combo Pkgs
Franz Josef Glacier + Fox Glacier Combo Tour
Depending on your budget and personal interests, the Franz Josef Glacier + Fox Glacier Combo Tour may be a better package for you. As you walk through a regenerating rainforest, prepare to be amazed by the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier. This beautiful track runs through the lush historic glaciated rainforest in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. It offers focal points of huge rata on rimu trees and and spectacular native mosses. Learn the differences and similarities between two of the biggest glaciers in New Zealand.
Another more expansive experience where you can visit two must-see locations in New Zealand is the Fox Glacier + Lake Matheson Combo Tour. Fox Glacier is located within Te Wahipounamu a UNESCO World Heritage site. Start off through a beautiful trail that meanders through the lush historic glaciated rainforest in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. You will see the huge rata on rimu trees and the array of mosses. It incudes views of upper Fox Glacier, the Fox neve and Mt Tasman – one of New Zealand’s highest peaks.
All the tours offer stunning views. With so much natural beauty in New Zealand, there are a lot of tours and tour companies. Keep us updated if take a tour, and send photos. We might feature them on ETG. In addition, Good Morning America featured Glacier Valley Eco Tours in February 2023. Visit the website for more info – https://www.glaciervalley.co.nz/