Franz Josef Glacier Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Franz Josef Glacier

  • RinaNeo's Profile Photo

    Discovering Franz Josef Glazier....Day 1

    by RinaNeo Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Franz Josef main road

    Day 1 - Arriving in Franz Josef town... A town? More like a street actually... its such a small place that I could actually spot my cousin, Yuen and his wife Sue,eating in one of the restaurant. Well they happened to be holidaying in NZ too...

    If you're all out to see this phenomenon... "Ancient rivers of ice" .You made the right decision. Out of all the glaciers in the Southern Alps, only the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers have crept as far as the rainforests. These giant mass of ice have squeezed down their valleys to just 250 metres above sea level.

    Be prepared !! For those we have not done excercise for a long time, no harm starting to sweat it out prior to climbing the glacier...
    With no proper warm up , I bet u 'll be so tired and exausted after this trip... You probably don't feel like walking coz your leg hurt so much...

    Well, I did my ground work so it was fine for me except some blisters because of the special boots that we rented from the local company that's leading the hike.

    They will provide u with some kinda plaster which to me look more like a those tape u used to seal up boxes.. Anyway we brought our own plasters...

    Socks.. my advice, where the socks provided by them over ur own socks.. reason being, the boots can be quite dirty and the colors actually stained the socks after a few hours of climbing and hiking...

    You will be provided with special spikes too... but becareful, those spikes works really well on the ice but not on the rocks.. it might be quite dangerous and slippery at times.. so be very careful. Rule no one.. take it slowly...

    So be sure to check out either the FOX Glacier or the Franz Josef glacier when ur in South island....

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism
    • School Holidays

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  • 2Cities1Love's Profile Photo

    Scenic Helicopter Flight

    by 2Cities1Love Written Jul 26, 2007

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    Being tourist season (mid-summer) we booked our helicopter flight well before leaving Australia. Which turned out to be a good move as they were pretty much booked out. Glacier Helicopters do a few different types of flights. We chose the Franz Josef Snow Landing for $175NZD per person. What we got was an amazing experience we will never forget. A flight up the mountain with a landing in the snow on top.....a quick walk around, take some pics and an awesome flight back down. Around 25 minutes all up but well worth it. We got some wonderful pics and is also all on video.

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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

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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  • kenmerk's Profile Photo

    Get Squeezed

    by kenmerk Written May 26, 2003

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    Look close, there are 5-6 people in that crack....

    The cracks that you will pass through in the ice falls are quite narrow... As I tried to squeeze through them my camera auto-fired a few pictures from inside my pack... (Unfortunately my lunch got squashed, too... SO instead of a fresh banana, I had to settle for mushed banana baby food...

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    Ice Pinnacles

    by kenmerk Updated May 26, 2003

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    Ice Pinnacles,  Franz Josef...

    If you take a full day hike up the face of the Glacier, the highest point you will likely reach is the Ice pinnacles....

    Here large blocks of ice tower up above you.. (kinda like walking thru an Antarctic Manhattan...)

    Careful when walking below them, more than one unfortunate hiker has been clocked in the head by a falling chunk of ice...

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  • imstress's Profile Photo

    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.

    Related to:
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    • National/State Park

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  • Mez77's Profile Photo

    Get out and experience it!

    by Mez77 Written Sep 23, 2003

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    If you are visiting this area, then you must get out and experience it. It's no good just seeing it from a viewing platform. There are plenty of ways to see the Glaciers, depending on your budget and fitness. Two of the most popular ways are via a scenic flight or a guided walk onto the Galcier.

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    Take a hike

    by Mez77 Written Sep 23, 2003

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    Get up close to the glaciers with a guided glacier walk. A variety of options are available, including helihikes, from a few hours to the whole day. I decide on a half day guided hike because I wasn't sure how strenuous it would be. I think it was just the right length. We were able to get high enough to get into some ice caves. Friends of ours went on a full day hike and didn't really see much more.

    The other option is to do a heli-hike which combines the excitement of exploring a wild and remote part of the glacier with the thrill of two helicopter flights. This way you can get further up the glacier, but the cost is much more.

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  • Mez77's Profile Photo

    A scenic flight!

    by Mez77 Written Sep 23, 2003

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    A scenic flight is a great way to view the glaciers. Choose from fixed wing and helicopter flights, some with a snow landing on the glacier.

    I prefered to actually get onto the Glacier but if you are unsure about the hike, then a flight may be a good alternative.

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  • Mez77's Profile Photo

    Plenty of walks

    by Mez77 Written Sep 23, 2003

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    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

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    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Lozza_9's Profile Photo

    climb either Franz Josef or...

    by Lozza_9 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Me in the middle of the Glacier

    climb either Fox Glacier. We booked our walk before we left for New Zealand. Everyone who goes to NZ wants to walk the Glaciers. It can become very busy and you may not be able to get a walk. It does get cold on the Glacier - I would recommend a 12.30 walk if you are doing a half day walk. On the walks you have 3 guides, one is for people who wish to go fast, one for the medium people and one for people who want to take there time and take pictures. I took the third.

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  • margaretvn's Profile Photo

    close encounter

    by margaretvn Written Feb 25, 2003

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    walking up to the glacier and being so close to it is a wonderful experience. The weather was wonderful and the colours of the ice fantastic. It really lets you see that we do have to care for this earth when you see just how far the glacier has receded.

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  • imstress's Profile Photo

    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.

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    • Budget Travel

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  • imstress's Profile Photo

    Franz Josef Glaciers

    by imstress Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Franz Josef Glaciers and Fox Glacier are easily accessible by car.

    You could do a half day of full day hiking trip to Franz Josef Glacier by joining a guided tour.

    There are many our agents that you could sign up with in town.

    The easiest walk will be a 20 mins return trip to the Sentinel Rock Walk.

    Grab hold of the map at the town centre and there are a few walks raning frm 20 mins to 8 hours that you could take.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • imstress's Profile Photo

    Basal Sliding

    by imstress Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Basal sliding is where the glacier slides over the surrounding sediments and rocks.

    When the ice meets an obstacle it wont go stragiht but will find it ways to avoid the obstacle.
    Thus there the pressure will cause the ice to be pushed down at a faster rate.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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