Fox Glacier South Side Walk

Image: Owen Kilgour | DOC

Introduction

The Fox Glacier South Side Walk follows the south bank of the Fox River through ancient podocarp rainforest.

Track overview

6 km return via same track

Walking and tramping

2 hr Easy: Walking track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

The Fox Glacier South Side Walk follows the south bank of the Fox River through ancient podocarp rainforest. The track becomes narrower for a time and crosses ancient glacial moraine surfaces.  This section of track reveals how quickly plants establish here, and how the age of the forest reflects the various ages of the glacier moraines which it has colonised.  

The first viewpoint of the glacier is soon reached, before continuing up valley. The track passes through an old car park and then winds gently downhill through the rainforest to a view point of Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe. Do not go past this point due to extreme flood hazard.

Getting there

Drive south for 2 km from the Fox Glacier Weheka township, cross the Fox River Bridge and park on the right hand side of the road heading south. Carefully cross the state highway on foot to where the track begins.

History and culture

The glacier holds added significance for local Māori as it is the moeka (final resting place) of their ancestor Tuawe.

Know before you go

What to expect

  • Access: The track can be closed due to rock falls or flooded rivers. Glacier viewpoints are hundreds of metres from the face of the glacier. View daily glacier access update on Glacier Country website.
  • Track surface: Parts of this track are over rough and uneven ground
  • Change in elevation: +/- 100 m

Hazards

  • Rapidly changing weather: This walk is in an alpine region.
  • River surges: Glacial rivers can be dammed by ice falls and the dam could burst creating a huge surge of water and ice which floods the valley.
  • Flooding: Downpours can create flooding within minutes – follow the marked track, obey all signs and never cross barriers.

Amenities

  • Toilets can be found at the start of the track and in Fox Glacier Weheka township.

Be prepared

Ensure you take:

  • layered warm and waterproof clothing
  • sturdy footwear.

All drone use must be authorised by DOC

A concession is required to fly a drone on any public conservation land - see Recreational drone use and Commercial drone use for more information.


Contacts

Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 752 0360
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   69 Cron Street
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Postal Address:   PO Box 14
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Hokitika Office
Phone:   +64 3 756 9100
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   hokitika@doc.govt.nz
Address:   10 Sewell Street
Hokitika 7810
Postal Address:   Private Bag 701
Hokitika 7842
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