Fox Glacier
Image: Chris Khamken | Creative Commons


The area around the Fox Glacier township offers visitors a rare opportunity to easily acess a dynamic glacial environment in a forested area while within driving and walking distance from the main highway.

Place overview

Find things to do Fox Glacier area

About track difficulties

Kiwi Guardians programme

Take your family on a Kiwi Guardians adventure. Kiwi Guardians is a free, fun and easy way for 6-10 year olds to get to know this special place - grab a map, go and explore, and earn a reward! More about Kiwi Guardians

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    About this place

    Nature and conservation

    In the last ice age the glacier extended in a huge ice-sheet to beyond the present coastline. Although the glacier has long since retreated, it has left reminders of its frozen past such as the glacial formed Lake Matheson in the present landscape.

    The terminal face of the glacier is less than 300 metres above sea level and is just one of two in Westland Tai Poutini National Park to be this close to the coastline.

    Fox Glacier Valley

    Less than 6 kms from Fox Glacier township, the Fox Glacier Valley has a number of walks each affording different spectacular views of the glacier.  At 13 km long, the Fox Glacier (Te Moeka o Tuawe) is one of the longest (13 km) of the many glaciers within Westland Tai Poutini National Park

    Lake Matheson

    Further out towards the coast, 6 km from Fox Glacier, you can take an easy walk around the glacial formed Lake Matheson which provides beautiful reflections of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman and the forested shore in the still waters of the lake on calm, clear days.

    Peak Viewpoint

    A drive to Peak Viewpoint 9 kms from Fox Glacier heading towards the coast can provide panoramic views of Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe neve and the Southern Alps Kā Tiritiri o te Moana. This is outstanding at sunset on a cloudless day.

    Getting there

    Fox Glacier township is situated on SH6, 171 km south of Hokitika.

    Know before you go

    Looking after yourself

    Always advise someone of your walking intentions including an estimated return time. Wear suitable footwear and always be prepared for sudden, unpredictable weather changes. On longer walks you should wear sturdy footwear.

    General care

    Do not feed the wildlife in the area, particularly kea.  This changes their natural behavior, can be detrimental to their health, and leads directly to destructive behavior kea are unfairly blamed for.


    Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 3 752 0360
    Address:   Co-located with Franz Josef i-SITE
    69 Cron Street
    Franz Josef Glacier 7856
    Full office details
    Hokitika Office
    Phone:   +64 3 756 9100
    Address:   10 Sewell Street
    Hokitika 7810
    Full office details
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