Your Ultimate Guide to Romantic Glacier Tours in New Zealand

  • June 25, 2024
  • Travel
Romantic Glacier Tours in New Zealand

If you’re dreaming of a romantic getaway, New Zealand’s stunning glaciers might be just what you’re looking for. 

Whether you’re planning a honeymoon, an anniversary trip, or just a special adventure with your partner, a glacier tour can offer breathtaking scenery and unforgettable experiences. 

In this guide, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about romantic glacier tours in New Zealand, give you some insider tips, and help you plan the perfect trip.

Common Questions About Romantic Glacier Tours in New Zealand

What are the best glaciers to visit in New Zealand?

New Zealand is home to several spectacular glaciers, but the most famous and accessible ones are Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier. 

Both are located on the West Coast of the South Island and offer a variety of tours, including guided walks and helicopter flights.

Franz Josef Glacier: Known for its striking beauty and accessibility, Franz Josef Glacier offers a range of tour options. You can explore the glacier on foot with a guided tour, or take a helicopter ride for a bird’s-eye view.

Fox Glacier: Just 20 minutes south of Franz Josef, Fox Glacier offers a slightly quieter experience but is no less impressive. Similar to Franz Josef, you can take guided walks or helicopter tours to explore this stunning ice formation.

Tasman Glacier: Located in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, Tasman Glacier is New Zealand’s longest glacier. While it’s less crowded than Franz Josef and Fox, it offers unique experiences such as glacier kayaking and scenic flights.

Rob Roy Glacier: For those looking for a less conventional but equally beautiful glacier experience, Rob Roy Glacier in Mount Aspiring National Park is a great option. The hike to the glacier is a romantic adventure in itself, taking you through lush forests and offering stunning views.

What should we pack for a glacier tour?

When visiting glaciers, it’s essential to be prepared for cold weather. 

Here’s a comprehensive packing list to ensure you stay warm and comfortable:

  • Warm Layers: Dress in layers to adjust to changing temperatures. Start with a thermal base layer, add a fleece or wool sweater, and finish with a waterproof jacket.
  • Waterproof Jacket: Essential to protect you from the cold and wet conditions.
  • Sturdy Boots: Good quality, waterproof hiking boots with ankle support are a must.
  • Gloves and Hat: Keep your extremities warm with insulated gloves and a wool or thermal hat.
  • Sunglasses: The glare from the ice and snow can be intense, so bring sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Backpack: A small daypack for carrying essentials like water, snacks, and extra layers.
  • Camera: To capture the breathtaking scenery. Don’t forget extra batteries as cold weather can drain them quickly.
  • Sunscreen and Lip Balm: The sun’s reflection off the ice can cause sunburn, so apply sunscreen and use lip balm to protect your skin.
  • Snacks and Water: Stay hydrated and energised during your tour.

Are glacier tours safe for couples?

Yes, glacier tours are generally safe for couples. Guides are experienced and trained to ensure your safety.

However, it’s important to follow their instructions and be aware of your surroundings. 

Here are a few tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  • Listen to Your Guide: Always follow the instructions given by your guide. They are experts in navigating the glacier safely.
  • Stay on Marked Paths: Venturing off the marked paths can be dangerous due to hidden crevasses and unstable ice.
  • Wear Appropriate Gear: Make sure you have the right clothing and equipment to stay warm and safe.
  • Communicate: If you’re feeling uncomfortable or unwell, let your guide know immediately.
  • Stay Together: Always stay close to your partner and group to ensure no one gets lost or left behind.

What are some romantic activities to do on a glacier tour?

A glacier tour in New Zealand offers a variety of romantic activities that can make your trip even more special:

  • Helicopter Rides: Take a scenic helicopter flight over the glaciers for a bird’s-eye view of the icy landscape. Many tours include a landing on the glacier, allowing you to explore and take photos in this otherworldly setting.
  • Picnics: Arrange for a private picnic on the ice with breathtaking views. Some tour companies offer gourmet picnic packages, complete with champagne and local delicacies.
  • Photography: Capture beautiful moments together in one of the most stunning natural settings in the world. The unique ice formations and snow-capped mountains provide a perfect backdrop for romantic photos.
  • Hot Springs: After a day on the ice, relax in the nearby hot springs. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers both have thermal hot pools where you can soak and unwind.
  • Star Gazing: The remote locations of the glaciers provide perfect conditions for stargazing. Spend an evening under the stars, away from the light pollution of cities.

Insider Tips for a Perfect Romantic Glacier Tour

Book in Advance

Glacier tours can be popular, especially during peak travel seasons. To ensure you get the dates and activities you want, book your tours and accommodations well in advance. 

This is particularly important if you’re planning to visit during the summer months (December to February) or during school holidays.

Choose a Private Tour

For a more intimate experience, consider booking a private tour. 

This way, you can enjoy the glacier at your own pace and have more one-on-one time with your guide. 

Private tours can be customised to your interests, whether you want to focus on photography, exploration, or simply enjoying the scenery.

Opt for Sunrise or Sunset Tours

Sunrise and sunset tours can offer the most beautiful lighting and fewer crowds. 

Imagine starting your day with the first light reflecting off the ice or ending it with a stunning sunset over the glacier. 

These tours can be incredibly romantic and provide perfect photo opportunities.

Stay in a Cozy Lodge

After a day of exploring the glaciers, relax in a cosy lodge nearby. Many lodges offer amenities like hot tubs, fireplaces, and gourmet dining, perfect for a romantic evening. 

Some recommended lodges include:

  • Franz Josef Glacier Hotel: Offers luxurious rooms with views of the glacier, a spa, and fine dining.
  • Fox Glacier Lodge: A charming lodge with comfortable rooms, a hot tub, and a beautiful garden.
  • Mount Cook Lakeside Retreat: Located near Tasman Glacier, this retreat offers stunning views, private hot tubs, and gourmet meals.

Combine Your Glacier Tour with Other Romantic Activities

New Zealand offers a wealth of romantic activities that you can combine with your glacier tour to create an unforgettable trip:

  • Wine Tasting: Visit the nearby wine regions of Marlborough or Central Otago for a day of wine tasting and vineyard tours.
  • Hot Air Balloon Rides: Experience the stunning landscapes of New Zealand from above with a hot air balloon ride.
  • Spa Treatments: Indulge in a couple’s massage or spa treatment at one of the many luxurious spas in the region.
  • Hiking: Explore the beautiful hiking trails around the glaciers, such as the Hooker Valley Track or the Lake Matheson Walk.

Personal Stories: Creating Lasting Memories

When my partner and I visited Franz Josef Glacier, we opted for a helicopter tour. As we soared above the ice, the views were beyond anything we had imagined. 

Our guide landed us in a remote spot where we shared a picnic, just the two of us, surrounded by pristine snow and ice. 

It was one of the most magical moments of our lives, and we couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks after.

Another memorable experience was at Fox Glacier. We decided to take a guided ice walk. Our guide, knowledgeable and passionate about the glacier, led us through narrow crevasses and ice tunnels. 

At one point, we reached a serene ice cave where we paused to take in the beauty around us. It was a peaceful, intimate moment that made us feel like we were the only two people in the world.

Your Ultimate Guide to Romantic Glacier Tours in New Zealand


A romantic glacier tour in New Zealand promises an experience like no other, blending adventure with breathtaking natural beauty. 

From the towering ice formations of Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers to the tranquil expanses of the Tasman Glacier, these unique landscapes offer couples the perfect backdrop for unforgettable moments. 

Whether you’re soaring above the ice in a helicopter, exploring crevasses on a guided walk, or enjoying a private picnic on the glacier, these activities will bring you closer together and create memories that last a lifetime. For more information on planning your romantic glacier tour, visit

Remember to plan ahead, pack appropriately, and consider adding special touches like private tours or sunrise excursions to make your trip truly special. 

Engage with other travellers by sharing your experiences and learning from their tips and stories. 

Stay up-to-date with the latest information to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Ultimately, a glacier tour in New Zealand is more than just a trip; it’s an opportunity to connect with your partner amidst some of the world’s most awe-inspiring scenery. 

Embrace the adventure, cherish the shared experiences, and let the magic of New Zealand’s glaciers deepen your bond. Happy travels!


What are the most romantic glacier experiences available?

Heli-hiking tours on Franz Josef or Fox Glacier are considered very romantic, allowing couples to land on the glacier by helicopter and explore ice caves and formations together. Scenic flights over the glaciers, especially at sunset, also offer a romantic experience.

Can couples book private glacier tours?

Yes, many tour operators offer private guided heli-hike experiences for couples on the West Coast glaciers. 

This allows for a more intimate and customised glacier adventure.

Are there any special romantic packages available?

Some tour companies offer romantic packages that combine glacier experiences with other activities like hot springs soaks or champagne picnics. 

For example, Franz Josef has hot springs where couples can relax after a glacier hike.

What should couples wear for a glacier tour?

Warm, layered clothing is recommended. Jeans are not suitable. Tour operators typically provide outer layers, boots, and crampons. 

Couples should dress for variable weather conditions.

How physically demanding are glacier hikes for couples?

Most guided glacier hikes are suitable for people with moderate fitness levels. 

No previous experience is required. 

Guides provide full instruction and tours can often be tailored to the couple’s abilities.