At Franz Josef, gondola could provide access to glacier
A tourism company is looking at the feasibility of installing a gondola beside the Franz Josef Glacier.
Skyline Enterprises wants to make public access to the popular tourist spot easier and more affordable, with the glacier currently only accessible by helicopter.
Chairman Mark Quickfall believes tourists would be extremely keen on the gondola.
"It's iconic and there's very much a perception that the glaciers are receding and they're not always going to be available for people want to see them at their best."
Mr Quickfall says the gondola system would run adjacent to and above the glacier.
An ice collapse in 2012 has restricted access to the glacier.
"The only way you can [get there] now is by helicopter, and that's not always available either because of weather or costs. With the gondola proposal, that will make access available to a much wider range of people."
Skyline Enterprises is working with the Department of Conservation to investigate the idea.
Mr Quickfall says the structure would not cause any environmental damage to the glacier.