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Southern Fox, West Coast

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Southern FoxBeginner

Submitted by Stephanie Berry

Info Info
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Trail Information





West Coast

Fox Glacier

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


1:30 (Slow)
1:15 (Moderate)
0:45 (Fast)



The access road is closed to all vehicles. Take care around diversions as the road is heavily undercut where marked. Being nosy could be treacherous. Adhere to all roped off areas and the scary DOC guy at the end. He gave me a hurr of fright cos I thought I was out there on my own.

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Leave your car parked on the west side of the road and cross the road carefully. This is a busy 100km zone and cars whip around the bend quickly. Once you're across the road it's easy to follow the signage up the old access road (which they are saying will never be rebuilt). There's a few roped sections where you need to tuck in close to the bank ... all perfectly safe and then you have an amazing road to follow with overhanging native trees and the sound of the Fox River roaring down the valley next to you.

Approx 1.5kms up the valley you are directed onto the Moraine track. This is a fascinating and stunning piece of single track that leads you deep into moss covered native bush, overhanging trees and historical signs telling you were the glacier once was. It's pretty humbling to find yourself running across an area that was once covered in ice ... fascinating. You follow this track for about 500m and then you're back out on the old road with a slight gradient up the valley. You'll soon get glimpses of Fox Glacier as it recedes up the mountain and there's a few photo ops along the way.

At about the 3km mark you'll find yourself in the old carpark where there's a toilet for those in need. Not sure of the loo paper situation as I don't believe DOC are servicing this as frequently as they used to due to access. User Beware. Pound through the carpark and onto the marked single track that takes you down to the edge of the river. It's all roped off here as there is no way across the river to the glacier ... this is as close as you will get. You can get a reasonable view of the glacier and the landslide. The riverbed is now strewn with massive rocks from the landslide and as it is now dammed. You run the risk of being caught in it if it lets go so err on the side of caution here. Still a stunning view without having to venture into the riverbed.

Return the way you came. On the way out you might notice the landfill on the north bank that was the source of all the rubbish washing into the river and out to sea ... it's still there ... you can check out how they've chosen to temporarily protect it in the event of another flood. But that's another story. Enjoy the run back out ... it's largely downhill and be careful recrossing the road at the finish. If you're feeling really energetic you could combine this run with the Northern Fox trail run.

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Features of interest

Glacier, the country's most active landslide, flood damage, mountains

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 25%

Gravel Road: 75%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    From Fox Glacier township drive south along the Haast Highway for approximately 2kms. You will cross the Fox River bridge and there is a carpark on your right just past the bridge. There is no parking on the road into the glacier. You could run from the village which would add another 4kms to the run. If you choose this be careful of traffic as the road becomes quite narrow without a verge,

    Parking is on the west side of the road opposite the old road up to Fox Glacier which is now closed indefinitely.

    2 km

    3 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Short-sleeved thermal top, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.


    Weather can change dramatically really qucikly ... be prepared for any eventuality.

    Obey all DOC warning signs. The roads are heavily undercut where identified.

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