Franz Josef Glacier Travel Guide

  • The Twins Snowfield...
    The Twins Snowfield...
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    Hovering over Franz
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  • Franz Josef - Front Row Seats!
    Franz Josef - Front Row Seats!
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Franz Josef Glacier Highlights

  • Pro
    RinaNeo profile photo

    RinaNeo says…

     Fantastic view.... 

  • Con
    Lozza_9 profile photo

    Lozza_9 says…

     Can be cold on the Glacier. Don't spend more than 2 nights here! 

  • In a nutshell
    margaretvn profile photo

    margaretvn says…

     magnificant 

Franz Josef Glacier Things to Do

  • Franz Josef Glaciers

    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...

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  • Basal Sliding

    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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  • Blue Glacier Ice

    There are more than 380 glaciers in the Southern Alps of the South Island. The largest is the Tasman Glacier (29 kms) long.About 30 metres of snow to fall on the neve of the glacier every year and thus forming the blue glacier ice. It was amazing to see the blue and greyish snow from the helicopter.Snow that is compacted on the neve forms blue...

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  • Discovering Franz Josef Glazier....Day 1

    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...

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  • 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...

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  • Tramp to Peters Pool

    The 4.5km Peters Pool track is signposted from the Franz Josef Glacier car park. It wends its way through 40-year-old shrub forest sprinkled with Mountain holly, tree daisy, tutu and three-finger.Peters Pool is a kettle lake formed by melting ice and reflect mirror images of the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier in the background. A very scenic spot...

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  • 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!

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  • Experience quietitude at Peter's Pool

    We were thrilled to visit this pool just at the entrance to the glacier, standstill was a word we understood after seeing this pool. It offers a perfect reflection of the glacier and all surroundings! Everyone who came here were almost afraid to breathe lest they disturb the still waters!

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  • Glacier Walk

    Walk upto the glacier and back- an easy walk, and allows you to observe the terraina round with the deep gorges that the glacier has created and at the same time it allows you to watch as blocks of ice fall off the mouth of the glacier! There are a couple of waterfalls as well enroute.

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  • Visit the Glacier

    You have to walk to get to the glacier from the car park, its an easy walk really, yes you have to negoiate boulders, rocks, stones etc, but its not too hard. and at the end, its worth it

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  • Scenic Helicopter Flight

    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...

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  • Franz Josef Waterfalls

    The surrounding was just picture perfect - you have the glacier, river, mountains and even waterfalls. There were two waterfalls. One that was higher up the mountain. Coupled with the wind, the vertical descent was spread across a wider area. The other waterfall was easier to get to. I tried to get as close to this waterfall as possible. I looked...

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  • Going towards Terminal Face

    We started with the Sentinel Rock Walk and continued our walk into the Waiho Valley towards the Terminal Face. The Sentinel Rock Walk really offers you a breath-taking view of the glacier.Walking in Waiho Valley was truly an experience to savour. With each walking step, you 'd come closer to the magnificant glacier. We walked till we came to a sign...

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  • Those Little Things in Life

    Noticing the little things in life can sometimes bring out abundant joy. As Jac and I were walking towards the Terminal Face, we chanced upon this little block of ice amidst the greyness of the rocks.It was unique as it was just sitting there quietly in the sun, not really sure how it got there though.

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  • The Roar of Waiho River

    One distinct sound that you'll not missed when you're in the Waiho Valley is the clash of rocks, so it seems. Jac and I were trying to track the sound like what you'll hear when you hit two rocks together. Walking closer to Waiho River, I was amazed by the sight and also, I understood what was making that noise - swift-moving ice boulders were...

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Franz Josef Glacier Hotels

Franz Josef Glacier Restaurants

  • Service zero

    Could not try the food. Waited 15 minutes approached a staff member but was completely ignored. Approached second staff member same thing, walked out feeling disgusted as the restaurant wasn't even busy. Compared to Little India at Nelson was completely the opposite, excellent food and service, highly recommended. Couldn't try any dishes

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  • Decent Cafe with varied menu

    There are not a lot of restaurants in Franz Josef. Some new ones open every year and some don't last long enough to establish themselves.I know that Full of Beans has been around a while because my friends had been there a few years before. That being said, it is a no-frills cafe but decent enough to satisfy us.There are cold dishes available in...

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  • Rustic charm

    Stepping into the warm amber embrace of Alice May soon soothes the cold from aching muscles and shivering bones.Serving up hearty local country fare, we tucked into the venison stew, slowly cooked in Monteiths black beer and served with mash potato and crisp pastry, which was probably the second best meal we had in NZ.The menu takes advantage of...

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  • Delicious Indian Food

    Tasty north indian food and good white wine to toast, we were having Indian food after 10 days, so we were thrilled with this restaurant. Cannot ask for more! Veg Biriyani was as tasty as the one in Paradise in Hyderabad!

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  • Nice relaxed atmosphere

    Good selection of NZ wines. Could be cold outside on a cold morning or late evening, but very pleasant in the afternoon or early evening.

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  • Most popular bar

    Good atmosphere with lots of interesting people. Nice indoor & outdoor area. Good selection of wines but was not impressed by the cocktails ('Bloody Mary' was more like a plain tomato juice). Garlic bread loaf was so big - was a meal in itself!

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  • Finding food in Franz josef

    There are only a few restaurants in the main road of Franz Josef....the town is so small that a walk from one end to another end of the main road takes less than 10 mins. Steak.....

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  • HEARTHY DINER

    Eating options in town are slim. After we got back from our trip to the glacier, we pampered ourself by soaking our tired body into the hot spa in our hostel's garden, followed by a hearthy meal in Batson's Tavern at the far end of Cron Street. While I was enjoying the meal, a guy came across to my table just to asked what the name of dishes I...

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  • LUNCH ON "GLACIER CAFE"

    It is advisable to pack light lunch and plenty of water.The only time it actually got cold was when we stopped for lunch. We sat down on the glacier, unpacked our lunch and enjoyed it! The sandwich tasted even better on the glacier! Chocolate barSandwichA bottle of water

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Franz Josef Glacier Warnings and Dangers

  • Over priced shops

    Franz Joseph is not a large place consequently your shopping choice for food basics is limited. As someone who used to live in the area we always avoiding shopping for food in Franz Joseph because the prices were higher - because transport costs, lack of options and because the shops serviced tourists who would pay. If you are driving south from...

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  • Falling Ice

    As the glacier is relatively fast moving, blocks of ice often fall, ice caves cave in, slopes slide down, and so on, thats why the base of the glacier is roped off. However if you want to see it closer, you can climb over...its what I did, but if you get crushed, dont blame me!update on 12/01/08 two Australian's did cross the ropes and venture...

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  • Proceed only with a trained guide

    You may want to experience the beauty upclose of what Franz Josef Glacier has to offer. But never do it by youself if you have not had any prior training. Remember, never dice with mother nature.

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Franz Josef Glacier What to Pack

  • Mosquito Repellent

    It might be the most clichéd item to suggest but the West Coast is famous for its Sand Flies and Franz Joseph even more. They love the fresh blood of Tourists so either keep your skin covered or spray on some repellent.

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  • Carry an umbrella w/o fail

    Umbrella is essetial, the ones you can buy there are all china made and of inferior quality! There is incessant drizzle/rain here, so do carry!

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  • Wear those shoes

    Some may think it common-sensical, but it's always important to wear those covered toes shoes, especially when you are moving among the rocks. You do not want a stubbed toe or a swelling feet.not trying to promote my show here, but yes, this Is a comfortable shoe.

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Franz Josef Glacier Off The Beaten Path

  • Hari Hari

    Hari Hari is a small dairy farming town located about almost equal distance from Franz Josef Glacier and Hokitika.It is only 50 minutes away from north of Franz Josef Glacier.Although it is a small town it still provide accommodation, restaurants and tours to the west coastal and also rainforest or mountain walks.Visit Lake Lanthe while you are in...

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  • Fox Glacier

    Fox Glacier is 30 min away from Franz Josef Glacier.The Fox Glacier is a smaller township compared to Franz Josef.Fox Glacier is renowned for Lake Matheson's stunning reflections of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. See my Fox Glacier page for more pics of this beautiful place.

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  • A Bird's Eye View!!

    Incredible, but taken some years ago when Franz Josef Glacier was bigger, you can see people "down" there!

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Franz Josef Glacier Favorites

  • Retreating Glacier

    This information board provided me with an understanding of what is happening to the glacier. The board had the earliest photo taken in 1867 where you can see that the valley was covered with a sheet of ice.In 1909, the ice started to retreat. In 1939, the glacier further melted, turning the entire valley into a lake. Circa 2003, the waters are all...

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  • Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters

    http://www.glacierhelicopters.co.nz/"Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters offers a range of scenic helicopter flights from 10 minutes to several hours’ duration. Flights depart from Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier and Queenstown.At Fox Glacier there is a popular flight combination with glacier hiking. This “flights plus” combinations with hiking,...

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  • Franz Josef Glacier Guides

    http://www.franzjosefglacier.com/"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...

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Explore Deeper into Franz Josef Glacier
Am I on the Moon?
Things to Do
Falling Ice
Warnings and Dangers
Franz Josef Glacier Hike
Things to Do
Franz Josef Visitors Center
Things to Do
Climbing
Things to Do
Walking
Things to Do
BEWARE! Falling ice blocks!
Warnings and Dangers
Alpine Guides
Favorites
Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Heliservices
Favorites
Beware
Warnings and Dangers
Beware of car thieves
Warnings and Dangers
Franz Josef Township
Things to Do
Are you prepared to Walk?
Things to Do
Sentinel Rock Walk - 20 mins return. An easy climb
Things to Do
Retreat & Advancement of Glacier
Things to Do
$$$
Favorites
Walk around Franz Josef Town
Things to Do
Lake Mapourika
Things to Do
Watch your step!
Warnings and Dangers
Visit the glacier, of course!
Things to Do
Go for a walk into the rainforest
Things to Do
DOC Office and Visitor Centre
Favorites
Bring Batteries, Care for Them
What to Pack
Ice Climbing
Things to Do
Glacier Walkers Essential
What to Pack
No Stopping Next 400m!
Warnings and Dangers
Your guide....
Things to Do
THE LAST SURPRISE!
Things to Do
THE HIKE ON ICE (II)
Things to Do
THE HIKE ON ICE (I)
Things to Do
GIGANTIC ICEBERG
Things to Do
ARE YOU AN ADVENTUROUS OR LESS CONFIDENT TYPE?
Things to Do
TERMINAL FACE WALK
Things to Do
FRANZ JOSEF VILLAGE (TOWN?)
Things to Do
YES, I DID IT!
Things to Do
ICE TALONZ
Things to Do
red flowering Rata
Favorites
See the Glacier!
Things to Do
Blue Ice
Things to Do
Ice Blocks
Things to Do
Map of Franz Josef Glacier

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