Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers is a glacier area and is one of the major tourist attractions of the New Zealand’s landscapes. These glaciers are very close to the ocean which makes this place so famous and so unique. This area is one of the very few places on earth where you'll find such a spectacular glaciers. Together with the Fox Glacier, the magnificent Josef Glacier begins from the Southern Alps and is descending less than 300 meters above sea level, amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest. Its length is about 25 km covering nearly half the area of the Mount Cook National Park. Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers are nearly the most accessible zone of glaciers in the world and walk up to and onto the glacier are possible, that’s why here, comes around 250,000 visitors a year. Also a lot of visitors come here to see the combination of ice and temperate rainforest. This is a unique feature of the glaciers, and is an ecosystem found nowhere else in the world.
Franz Josef Glacier is the steepest and fastest moving glacier in New Zealand. At 12 kilometer long, 2,600 meters high, this 7000 year old body of ice is sliding down a mountain valley into a rainforest. Franz Josef can be safely viewed from as close as 15 meters. The snow of the glacier is compacted at the top of the glacier and transforms inside into blue ice. This ice slides along the hill to the river valley below. Near this glacier flows a small river known as the Waiho River. This river is faded by the meltwater of the glacier. Franz Josef Glaciers flow around ten times faster than most valley glaciers, that’s why the river is always full of water. The glacier was named, after the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Fox Glacier which was named after Sir William Fox is only 25 kilometers from Franz Josef Glacier. It’s at 300 meters deep and 13 kilometers long. Fox glacier it’s a really picturesque area that offers a relaxed atmosphere to soak up the surrounding beauty. Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier give you the opportunity to experience the most spectacular glacier environment.
This glacier area is often visited by adventurous and brave tourists. That’s why here many companies offer guided excursions to explore the spectacular ice formations the geological features, flora and fauna of the area also gives you the opportunity to explore the rainforest environments.
Besides these two glaciers, in New Zealand, there is another glacier that takes your breath away. This glacier is called Tasman Glacier. At 27 kilometers in length, the Tasman Glacier is a powerful and picturesque piece of landscape. While it slowly carves the valley sides, it provides a landing place for small ski planes and helicopters. This area hides a lot of beautiful places like milky lakes which glacier-ground rock sediment makes the water opaque. The Tasman Glacier is a perfect place for intermediate skiers.