Fox Glacier is a little village on the doorstep of the so-called Fox Glacier, one of the two glaciers in New Zealand that are accessible to tourists. The village was founded during the gold rush in New Zealand. It offers enough accommodation to host visitors, a few bars and cafes and a general store, where you can get the basics. No ATMs except for New Zealand debit cards, but you can pay by credit card if cash is running low.
Things to do in and around Fox Glacier can easily fill three to four days, if the weather is fine that is. A glacier tour is a must and there are several options for different fitness levels and also depending on hoe much cash you have in your pocket. The tours all start from the base of the glacier, which conveniently has a parking lot for cars right next to it.
You can take it easy with a half-day trip to the glacier, which is not that recommended, as you could walk half of it yourself and you barely reach the blue ice. So chip in a bit extra and spend the whole day on the glacier. You will wear boots with spikes and feel like a real explorer! - Even more so if you close your eyes and try to forget the hundreds of tourists that are around you doing the same thing. To tell the truth, it is very touristy. There are only two glaciers where you can get to very easily, and everybody who travels down the West Coast is coming past. But in the end, tourist destinations are always the most popular or breathtaking or prettiest ones, so can you blame the others for having the same idea? Not really.
So, back to the trips, there is also Ice Climbing, or fancy stuff like Heli Hiking, where you fly all the way up and walk around bits that you could not possibly reach by only walking. If you do want to get away from the masses and have a bit of extra cash to spare, you can take the Helicopter right up and go for a full day walk, or even stay overnight in one of the backcountry huts.
Back down in Fox Glacier, some of the hotels and hostels have hot spas or saunas to heat up chilled bones. If you feel like going out at night, walk back towards the glacier and see hundreds of glowworms hanging out! Bring your torch!
If the weather is good, Lake Matheson is another spot not to be missed. When the water is calm and the sun is shining, you can have fantastic views of New Zealands highest mountains, Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, that even reflect in the Lake. Not far from there you can stroll along Gillespie Beach and maybe spot some seals or dolphins.
The best highlight in Fox Glacier is the Copeland Track. The starting point is about 30km south of Fox, so you can use the village as your base for the walk. You can walk to the Welcome Flat Hut in one day, and return on the next, or if you are keen and well experienced you can make your way through the high Alpine area of Mount Cook up to the village in three days. If you only stay at the Welcome Flat Hut, your hours of walking will be rewarded with a soaking bath in the natural Hot Springs, surrounded by breathtaking views of the snowy peaks that surround you!