Fox Glacier is situated on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. If you are travelling a long way to get to New Zealand and consider New Zealand to be very remote, than Fox Glacier would almost be beyond comprehension. The nearest Supermarket is just 175 ks away in a delightful small town called Hokitika. Here too, is the local airport.
The main service town and local hospital is only a little further, this being Greymouth and would be just 210 kms---incidentally Greymouth is the terminus for the train from Christchurch known as the famous Trans Alpine Express---not sure why it is called an express as it is quicker to drive, but nowhere near as scenic.
The village is approximately 200 meters above sea level, and has a permanent snowfield at 2300metres. The west coast is a very narrow strip of land squeezed between the Tasman Ocean and the mighty Southern Alps. In the Glacier region the distance between Sea and Mountains is only twenty-four kms. From Fox village the Alps seem to go straight up to over 12,000 feet with Mt Cook and Tasman towering above the Fox valley. The Glacier is approximately 13kms long and is currently the biggest on the West Coast; but of course it used to be bigger. Approximately 250 years ago it reached the sea, but due to Global warming, and other water demands, it has shrunk.
The Ivory Towers Lodge is situated on the West Coast of New Zealand in the heart of Fox Glacier Township and at the Gateway to South Westland World Heritage Park. The lodge has been owned and operated for many years by Ann and Dale Scott and offers the best in budget accommodation for tourists and backpackers in this area of the West Coast. You can enjoy glorious high mountains, magnificent forests, dark brooding lakes, with wild windswept beaches, and the Fox Glacier. The backpacker lodge is warm and welcoming and the hotel-like accommodation offers open fires, quiet lounges, great music, fully equipped kitchens, and wonderful balconies for those famous West coast sunsets.
The hosts at Ivory Towers aim to keep you warm and comfortable with a good relaxing vibe. All the rooms are heated and all beds fully made up with sheets and duvets. Ivory towers consists of three self-contained lodges. The two smaller lodges can accommodate twelve people and are ideal for small groups or large families. There are three well equipped kitchens. The main kitchen comes with two ovens and many cook tops, and is normally a very social area, with both indoor and outdoor areas with the latter backing onto the Westland national park.
During the summer months there is a spectacular cottage available, close to the famous Lake Matheson. The cottage has two double rooms with a shared bathroom, and an en-suite double with possible the best view of the mountains available in Fox Glacier. The lodge has a quiet lounge with four email terminals complete with skype and card readers. In the winter there is a lovely wood fire to keep you warm. There is also a fun TV room/cinema with close to 350 movies available. If after a trip on the glacier you need to relax there is a sauna to help with the aches and pains.
The reason most visitors come to the Ivory Towers Lodge is the amazing lump of ice on its doorstep. From the Lodge you can walk on it, fly over it, ski on it, or just enjoy the magnificent mountain vista. There is only one company that can take you on to the Glacier and they have been operating at Fox Glacier for many years. Staff at the Lodge will be happy to help with making tour arrangements. From the accommodations there are spectacular views of Lake Matheson, possibly the most photographed lake in New Zealand. The two best times to see the lake would be early morning or late in the evening, but if the weather is clear, anytime is fine. Some of the most spectacular sunsets can also be seen from the Lodge grounds.
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