On Saturday, February 11th, 2023, I went on a glacier helipcopter tour through Glacier Country Helicopters. The tour I selected was the "Ultimate Discovery" tour. It was for the Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier and Tasman Glaciers Southern Alps and the Main Divide Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman. The price was: $495 NZD and the flight lasted 45 minutes. There was a snow landing on a glacier.
I started the day from my campervan at the Otto/ McDonalds Camping Area. From there, I went into the Franz Josef town and parked next to the police station. Glacier Country Helicopters was on the other side of the street.
The way the helicopter ride worked was, each person got to sit next to the window either before of after the glacier landing. On the way back, you switched positions with the person next to you such that you either sat one seat from the window or against the window on that specific side you were on. There were 6 people plus the pilot. Due to the tight space, you could not bring a bag.
Waiting for 2 days for the weather to improve, the helicopter flight had amazing views. If the weather was excessively cloudy, I cannot say it would have been as worth it.
After landing on the glacier, you get your photo taken by the pilot, who prints the photo before take off. You could buy the photo for $20 NZD.
Overall, I highly recommend taking a helicopter ride in the Franz Josef area. Drones are not permitted anywhere near the helicopters plus cannot fly as high anyway. Therefore, it is a must do if you want to see and capture the landscape.
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