- Location: Located in Westland National Park, at the foot of the western slopes of Mount Cook, in the middle of the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand.
- Attraction Type: Glacier.
- Significance: It is one of three glaciers in the world that comes pretty close to the coastline. It is also the steepest and the fastest flowing commercially guides glaciers in the world.
- Best time to Visit: March-April.
- Visiting Hours: During the daytime, especially in the early morning.
- How to Reach: If you are coming down by air, you need to come at Mount Cook Aerodrome (25.3 km away) or at Glentanner Aerodrome (23.7 km away). You may also come down at Greymouth Airport located 82.2 km away from Franz Josef Glacier. It takes 3 hours to reach Franz Josef Glacier from Greymouth.
- Nearest Airport: Mount Cook Aerodrome (MON) and Glentanner Aerodrome.
It is the gem of New Zealand as they call it, it is the rare one that descends from the Southern Alps to just 240 meters above the sea level, it is one of three glaciers in the world that comes pretty close to the coastline, and it is the steepest and the fastest flowing commercially guides glaciers in the world — Franz Josef Glacier is a travelers’ delight with full of amazing characteristics. Perfectly positioned in an astounding backdrop, with its panoramic beauty, greenery and lushness of temperate rainforest, Franz Josef Glacier provides you the unique opportunity to see one of the most magnificent glacier environments in the world.
Located in Westland National Park, at the foot of the western slopes of Mount Cook, in the middle of the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand, Franz Josef Glacier is known for its rugged gradient, which is responsible for its dramatic scenery that the tourists die for. And it is a travelers’ delight to explore the glacier and walk on to it with guided or unguided tours.
Things to Do
You can explore Franz Josef Glacier in your own way. You may like to go for a walk on to the glacier with guided tours or else you can also go at your own. But if you go at your own, you may need to have good knowledge of glaciers and should also be equipped with specialized equipment. Helicopter tours could also be another option for you.
Glacier Valley Walk: This is a wonderful walk tour where you will explore the valley and the rainforest. You will also come to learn more about the geographical information and history of the glacier. This 3-hour tour is conducted twice a day.
Glacier Experience: Here you will have a rendezvous with the ice. There are two types of tours available for the tourists — a half-day tour and full-day adventure. Half-day tours have a duration of 4-5 hours whereas a full-day tour is conducted for 8 hours. You can also go for ice climbing if you are competent enough.
Whitewater Rafting: You should also go for whitewater rafting in the north of Franz Josef. It will surely be a memorable experience for you.
There are a number of options for accommodation in Franz Josef Glacier. Some of those could be listed as below:
Cron Street, PO Box 85
Franz Josef Glacier
South Westland, New Zealand
Alpine Glacier Motel
17 Cron Street
West Coast, New Zealand