The Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, the most famous glaciers in New Zealand, are located on the South Island, on the western side of the Southern Alps within Westland National Park. Both are spectacular, especially their proximity to the sea (15 mi/25 km separate the two), but if your time is limited, plan to see at least one. You can walk over the moraine and right up to the edge of the glaciers, but we recommend that you take a guided walk on the glaciers.
Or, if you feel like splurging, take a flight-seeing tour by helicopter or plane (helicopters land on the glaciers and let you out to walk around). Weather conditions can affect the flights at any time of year, but winter weather can also make getting to the glaciers overland from Christchurch—about 315 mi/510 km to the east via Arthur's Pass—or Queenstown difficult, as mountain passes may be closed.
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