Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier is located in the West Coast region of South Island in New Zealand. It is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world. It is packed with ice caves and surrounded by rainforests. It starts at the Southern Alps, falls 2,600 meters over its 13 length, and then ends near the coast in temperate rainforest.

It was named after the former New Zealand Prime Minister, Sir William Fox. He visited the glacier in 1872. This glacier forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Te Wahipounamu.


Quick Facts: –

  • In the New Zealand’s indigenous Maori language, Fox Glacier is known as ‘Te Moeka o Tuawe’.
  • The snow catchment area of the glacier is approximately 36 square kilometers.
  • Fox River has been formed by the outflow of the Fox Glacier.
  • During high tourist season, it is visited by 1,000 people daily.
  • Occasionally this glacier causes flash flooding in the valley. It happens because the ice traps water in cavities, which break open and water gets released.
  • This glacier was advancing from 1985 until 2009, and is currently in a retreating phase.
  • The reason for this is New Zealand’s glaciers are very sensitive to temperature change.
  • Franz Josef Glacier has one of the fastest melt rates observed of any glacier in the world.
  • Fox Glacier can reach a compacted ice depth of approximately 100 meters and mostly remains blue in color.