Motel Franz Josef
State Highway 6, Franz Josef, Private Bag 766, Franz Josef, New Zealand
More about Franz Josef Glacier
Full of Beans Cafe
aerial view of the glaciers
as we start the walk
Travel Tips for Franz Josef Glacier
red flowering Rata
Rata is a relative of the famous NZ flowering tree, Pohutakawa, and the former seeming semi tropical, I really didn't expect to see all this colour this far south in NZ!
The micro-climates in this country are simply amazing.
I never would have thought it possible to drive up to the glaciers, and drive through semi-tropical rainforest most of the way, including not only rata and tree ferns, but cabbage trees (relative of the palm tree) as well! And this happened a lot.
It was really special to see, when the only times I've visited snow areas, I've seen barren, rocky ground, as on ski fields etc.
I don't know how the ferns survive, when at this altitude they must spend quite a bit of the year beneath snow or ice.
Franz Josef Glacier Guides
"Franz Josef Glacier Guides is a professional guiding company, operating since 1990. Its heritage can be traced to over 100 years.
The experienced guides will be able to guide you through spectacular icefall terrain and take you into the unknown, providing support as you face the challenge and share with you a sense of discovery whilst always maintaining the highest levels of safety. To go to the most spectacular glacier terrain you will require the guides to create clear steplines and tracks on a daily basis. "
Pls refer to the website for more information or to the brochuer that I have scanned.
Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere Walk
Proceeding south out of Franz Josef Township, cross the Waiho River Bridge and turn left onto the Franz Josef Glacier Access Road. You'll find the car park at the end of the road.
Signposted from the car park is the Franz Josef Glacier walk, which will guide you on a 45-minute trek over rocky riverbed to within a safe distance of the glacier's terminal face. The glacial debris along the track is interesting, with scarred boulders and rocks giving clear evidence of nature's power.
Wonderful photo opportunities at the end of the track, with glacial water cobbling its way down the valley and icy blue glowing from the glacier's crevasses.
For your own safety, observe all safety signs and wear comfortable but sturdy hiking shoes.
Helicopter ride over the glacier
It is an expensive thing to do but since we didn't get the helihike, we decided to atleast do a heli ride over the glaciers. This was our first Valentine's after marriage and this was a great experience!
Plenty of walks
If you are staying in the area and would like to some more walks (Other than the Glacier) here are some of the options:
From Franz Josef Glacier:
Glacier Valley Walk - 1hr 20min return. Follows the Waiho River bed to glacier terminal.
Sentinel Rock Walk - 20 min return. An easy climb for spectacular views of the glacier.
Douglas Walk - 1 hour return. Five minutes bushwalk to Peters Pool for reflective views of glacier and continues through forest to exit 500 metres down road from start point.
Roberts Point Track - 5 hours return. Climbs via a rocky track and swingbridges to a high viewpoint above glacier.
Alex Knob Track - 8 hours return. Climb up to sub-alpine terrain with views of the glacier, mountains and coastline.
From Fox Glacier:
River Walk - 40 min return. Connects the north and south bank roads. The track was an early route onto the glacier and crosses an historic swing bridge.
Fox Glacier Valley Walk - 1 hour return. Walk up the riverbed to the terminal ice face of the glacier.
Chalet Lookout Walk - 1 hr 30 min return. Crossing mountain streams, the track leads to an historic viewpoint of the Fox Glacier.
Lake Matheson Walk - 1 hr 30 min return. An excellent walk providing unsurpassed reflective views of Aoraki/Mt Cook, Mt Tasman and the forested lakeshore.
Copland Track/Welcome Flat - 6-8 hours one way. A popular overnight tramp which gives a glimpse of Westland's unique forest and mountain scenery. Natural hotpools at Welcome Flat are an added attraction