Franz Josef Glacier Things to Do

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    Perfectly still
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  • Franz Josef Glacier
    Franz Josef Glacier
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  • as we start the walk
    as we start the walk
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Most Recent Things to Do in Franz Josef Glacier

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    Franz Josef Glacier Hike

    by david1982 Updated Oct 25, 2006

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    Take a hike up the Franz Josef Glacier, definately a highlight of my 2 month New Zealand trip.

    Your first stop is the meeting point in Franz Josef Village, where, after paying, you don fancy blue anoraks and brown "lesbian" boots with "talonz" to attach later, to enable you to walk on the ice without falling to your death.

    After a short drive in the coach, you walk to the foot of the glacier with guides, then are split into difficult, medium and easy groups. After much protest from one of our gang we ended up in the easy group!

    The view of the glacier was AMAZING at this point, basically like a frozen tsunami surging through the mountains.

    After a climb up a rocky area we found out the pathway etched out by the guides had infact collapsed, which meant a few hours of waiting during the rebuilding. This was unfortunate as we did not get a full day on the ice. But still, it was still brilliant.

    During the trip you'll walk through narrow passageways, across narrow ledges, down steep slopes etc. At some points you fear death thanks to an inexperienced guide but hey thats all part of the fun.

    At one point a bloke behind me fell into an ice pool, and ice gave way beneath my feet and almost sent me falling into a crevasse but luckily i clung on.

    After scrambling to the top we had a quick snack while getting our breath back, before the long trek back to the foot of the glacier.

    A definate must if you are in the area. Quite an adrenaline filled exciting day if that's what you're into!!

    Icy The walk to the glacier Our group Icy Lesbian boots
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  • Franz Josef Visitors Center

    by DebbieLA Updated Jul 13, 2006

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    Hidden behind the visitors center (which by the way is itself hidden off the side of the road) is the original glacier shack that visitors stayed in. The shack has an automated voice narrative that is set off when you enter

    how they spent a night on the glacier
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  • didgeridorien's Profile Photo

    Climbing

    by didgeridorien Written Apr 18, 2006

    With the Guiding Company you can climb the steepest commercially climbed glacier in the world. There are climbs for people that aren't very fit to climbs for the super fit. You can also go on a heli-hike. I did the Half-Day Hike, because we didn't have much time left and it was amazing. The view gets better when you get higher and we heard an ice cave collapse. The guides are very nice and they provide you with everything.

    My boyfriend on the glacier Franz Josef Glacier

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    Walking

    by didgeridorien Written Apr 18, 2006

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    From the car park at the Franz Josef Glacier, you can do several walks. You can walk to Sentinel Rock in 10 minutes or do the Roimata o Hine Hukatere walk in 50 minutes for a nice view of the glacier. You can also do the Roberts Walk (1 hour), Roberts Point (5 hours), Terrace Track (1 hour) or the Callery-Waiho Walk (4 hours) to see the surroundings o the glacier.

    Franz Josef Glacier

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    Franz Josef Township

    by imstress Updated Feb 25, 2006

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    Franz Josef township provide a wide range of services which includes accommodation ranging from backpackers, bed & breadfasts, hotels, Inn & Lodge, Motels, Motor Parks.

    You wont go hungry as there are about 10 cafes and restaurants where you could have hour meals.

    There are shops where you could purchase some arts & craft and souvenier home.

    Othere services includes tour agents, a general store, ATM, bicycle hire, internet services, postal services, fitness centre, massage therapy and petrol station.

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    Are you prepared to Walk?

    by imstress Updated Feb 25, 2006

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    There are many walks that you could take from Franz Josef Glacier & Franz Josef Town. Grab a map from the town and the walks are marked on the map. All this information are found on the map.

    Sentinel Rock Walk - 20 mins return. An easy climb for spectacular views of the glacier.

    Pakihi Walk - 30 mins, easy superb 360 deg views of mountains and rainforest.

    Terrace Walk - 30 mins return. Forest walk to historic sluice face. Glowworms after dark

    Canavans Knob Walk - 40 mins return climb to glacier and coastal views.

    Douglas Walk - 1 hr return. 5 mins bushwalk to Peters Pool for reflective views of glacier and continues through forest to exit 500 metres down road from start point.

    Glacier Valley Walk - 1 hr 20 mins return. Follows the Waiho River bed to glacier terminal. Please heed all signs and barriers.

    Tatare Tunnels Walk - 1 hr 20 mins return. Take a flashlight to explore the old tunnel; be prepared to wade through cold water.

    Lake Wombat walk - 1 hr 30 mins return. Easy forest walk to small lake.

    Okarito Trig Walk - 1 hr 30 mins, steep climb to panorama of alps and glaciers.

    Callery-Waiho Walk - 2 hrs 30 mins one way giving access to Roberts Point track and glacier access road via the Douglas track.

    Three Mile Walk - 3 hrs, easy historic pack track, mountains, glaciers, beach walk. Check tides.

    Roberts Point Track - 5 hrs 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.

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  • imstress's Profile Photo

    Sentinel Rock Walk - 20 mins return. An easy climb

    by imstress Updated Feb 25, 2006

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    Sentinel Rock Walk is an easy climb of 20 mins return trip to have a spectacular views of the glacier.

    If you do not have much time, this is the shortest walk for you so dont miss it.

    Some path may be steep but it will be very rewarding if you could last till the end.

    No pain no gain ;p

    reward of the spectualr glacier view
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    Retreat & Advancement of Glacier

    by imstress Updated Feb 25, 2006

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    Despite small advances of about every 20 years, the glacier has generally retreated for most of the last century.

    Although from 1983 to 2000 the glacier went through an advancement, the glacier is again in a state of retreat.

    Will the climate here become so warm that the glacier disappears completely?

    words are taken from the signboard

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    Walk around Franz Josef Town

    by imstress Written Feb 11, 2006

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    Franz Josef is a small town that surive on tourism.

    The main street have lots of tour agent where you can book helicoper rides, heli hikes and glacier half day or full day hikes.

    There are restaurants on the main street.

    The Lady of Alps Catholic Church and New Zealand Fire Service Franz Josef can all be found on the main street.

    Even on the main street, you could have a very good view of the Franz Josef Glacier as well as the rain forest.

    Our Lady of Apls Catholic Church
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    Lake Mapourika

    by freshia Written Jul 21, 2005

    if you're travelling from west coast once you pass Okarito you will find Lake Mapourika before reaching Franz Josef township. It's 10 minutes driving from town.
    You can do kayaking there or swim or fishing (quite known for salmon and trout fishing)

    Well we did neither of those and mainly take pictures and picnic there :) The lake is pretty.....
    It's a nice break to stretch your legs after long drive from greymouth

    Lake Mapourika
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  • davidlop's Profile Photo

    Visit the glacier, of course!

    by davidlop Updated Jul 18, 2005

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    Well, you're at Franz Josef -glacier- so...
    I recommend you wear good mountaing shoes, as there's a pretty long walk till the ice base, and you have to walk by the river shores (and this is a glacier river: no sand but big rocks to step on). Once said this, it may take you 30 minutes to an hour to get there, and get your mouth open and your head facing up to the blueish ice block that stands against gravity in front of you... just don't get to close to see it *over* you! This is believed to be the fastest glacier in the world (I think) so often big ice blocks just fall down, and they better don't do so over some intrepid tourist that wanted a picture right at the very bottom... I think now there's plenty of signs just warning about that, but just in case...

    Franz Josef, here we go!
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    Go for a walk into the rainforest

    by davidlop Written Jul 18, 2005

    If you can walk, you have some insect repelent (depending on the season), a small backpack with some water and ligh food, and some sort of good mountain shoes, you're ready to spend several hours walking under the amazing rainforest that spreads all around this place. There are lots of paths, so if you keep the track, you'll be able to get back home some time later ;-) I was walking for some ten hours, including a few on the glacier basement but most into the surounding forests, and only covered some half the main paths of the area.
    There are some nice views, but the path itself is pretty enough to be several hours on it... just watch your steps as it is often muddy and slippery.

    Ice waters into the forest
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  • Ice Climbing

    by Lildeer Written Mar 3, 2005

    Take a leisurely stroll on the glacier with a tour group. Better yet, go ICE CLIMBING on it. Climb ice caves and other extreme structures the regular tour doesn't even see. Incredible views, great exercise. Don't forget your camera, a snack, and a water bottle - glacial water is the purest you'll ever taste.

    I recommend the Guiding Company : Small groups, great guide, all equipment (pick, pack, gloves, helmet, ice shoes) provided. Ask for Pops.

    Now what?
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  • RinaNeo's Profile Photo

    Your guide....

    by RinaNeo Written Dec 18, 2004

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    This handsome man, certainly cause some distractions among the girls.. we were looking at him, instead of watching our steps... hahaha...

    Well, these guys a professional and very experienced... follow what they tell u to do or not to do...

    Whoshhh!!
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  • I-Believe-I-Can-Fly's Profile Photo

    THE LAST SURPRISE!

    by I-Believe-I-Can-Fly Updated Sep 13, 2004

    There was then a half hour walk back to the parking lot. When we reached the marking, suddently Fenny and I stoodstill. Another group.... the whole group who just did the glacier walk marched behind us. We were really shocked and impressed with their fitness. They brought pickaxes while we brought our walking sticks. What a shame! So we paused and gave them the way... To memorate this "memorable" moment, we took picture (attached) on that spot...

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