Fascinating facts about Fox Glacier

New Zealand’s West Coast is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Surrounded by temperate rainforests, rugged coastlines and ancient

New Zealand’s West Coast is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Surrounded by temperate rainforests, rugged coastlines and ancient glaciers. Behind all of this dramatic scenery is a fascinating amount of history.

We’ve selected our favourite facts on the Fox Glacier to share with you:

  • Te Moeka o Tuawe is the Māori name for Fox Glacier

  • The glacier is located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island

  • Fox Glacier is the longest of the West Coast Glaciers, stretching 13km in length

  • The glacier was named back in 1872 by the then Prime Minister of New Zealand, Sir William Fox

  • The West Coast Glacier Country gets around 250,000 people visiting each year

  • Fed by four alpine glaciers, Fox Glacier falls 2,600 metres down to the coast

  • The town of Fox Glacier is located 6km away and serves as a hub for the tourism and farming community

  • The 2006 census revealed that 375 people live in the town of Fox Glacier

  • It follows a cyclical pattern of advance and retreat, driven by differences between the volume of meltwater at the foot of the glacier and volume of snowfall feeding the névé

  • Due to the temperate climate and low altitude means Fox Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world

  • Fox Glacier is famous for its blue ice and dramatic glacial formations

  • The combination of high snowfall at the top of the glacier, and the weight of the ice sliding down the hill means that both Franz Josef and Fox Glacier flows around ten times faster than most valley glaciers, which effectively help create such dramatic ice formations


Discover this fascinating region from above on one of our scenic helicopter flights from either Franz Josef or Fox Glacier townships.

Learn more about the incredible experiences on offer here or follow us on Instagram or Facebook for inspiration on the West Coast Glaciers.

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