On February 22nd, we went to see the Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier.
Fed by four alpine glaciers, Fox Glacier’s length is 13 km. Although retreating throughout most of the last 100 years, it has been advancing between 1985 and 2009. In 2006 the average rate of advance was about a metre a week. Since 2009, there has been a significant retreat.
From the car park, it is a 30 minutes walk. The path may vary depending on the seasons and natural events. It is possible to walk on the glacier, but only on a guided tour in order to avoid accidents.
The Franz Josef Glacier measures 12 km. A lot of walking tracks lead you there, including 3 from the nearest car park (1.5h, 30 minutes or 20 minutes – the longest it lasts, the closer you get). We chose not to do the longest walk because we had to drive after that. But anyway, from far, we did not find it really impressive and were pretty disappointed.