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About Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier is an incredibly popular tourist attraction in New Zealand, attracting over 250,000 visitors a year. The glacier is best-loved amongst adventurers who are familiar with the exciting terrain of ice climbing (not for the inexperienced or faint of heart!). While both guided and unguided tours of the glacier are possible, guided tours are recommended—the steep faces and icy cliffs are not to be messed with! However, if you find yourself on the West Coast, Franz Josef Glacier could be your perfect adventure of a lifetime.
Things to Do in Franz Josef Glacier
Not far from the glacier lies the township of Franz Josef itself. The town is tiny, with under 500 residents. However, during peak tourist times, the population of Franz Josef can increase by as much as 2,000 people in a day. Most of the guided tours that these visitors participate in involve transportation by helicopter past some unstable terrain—an exciting experience in and of itself! If you’ve conquered the glacier (using the necessary ice axes and crampons), don’t fret—Franz Josef has plenty more to offer. Stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing are great additional activities to be added onto your time in Franz Josef. If you’re getting a bit tired of all the outdoor activities, make sure to stop by the West Coast Wildlife Centre to see wildlife including New Zealand’s famed Kiwis. The Tatare Tunnels walk is a great choice for a slightly less intense hike than trying to scale the glacier itself (although this 1.5 hour hike still packs a punch!). Other popular trails include the Gallery Gorge Walk and Roberts Point Track. If you’re thinking that you need some relaxation time after all these activities, you’re in luck—Franz Josef has several great spa options, including the luxurious Amaia Luxury Spa.
Day Trips from Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier is located in a relatively remote part of New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no day trip fun to be had—the Westland National Park is only a short drive from Franz Josef Glacier. Also, while it might be a difficult to visit in just a short day from Franz Josef, Christchurch is about a five hour drive away and has endless options for fun cultural experiences.
Franz Josef Glacier Accommodations
Accommodations in Franz Josef Glacier can be found to match the needs of even the pickiest traveler. There are tons of options for both quiet and secluded relaxation in the charming town of Franz Josef, and options a bit farther away in more remote areas. We make it easy to find the perfect place to stay—we offer Franz Josef Glacier vacation rentals and Franz Josef Glacier short term rentals throughout the town. You can compare rentals in the area by price, ratings, reviews, and more on Tripping. Book your Franz Josef Glacier rental today!
Transportation in Franz Josef Glacier
Because of the wild terrain in the area of Franz Josef Glacier, one of the most popular options for transport is by helicopter. However, it’s also possible to drive to Franz Josef Glacier—it lies right on the main highway of the West Coast.
Popular Day Trips Near Franz Josef Glacier
- Albert Town
- Charing Cross
- Masons Colmans
- Lower Shotover
- Arthurs Point
- Hampden County
- Te Anau
- Mahanadi River
- The Pines
- Lower Hutt
- Paki Paki
- Lake Taupo
- Havelock North
- Thames-Coromandel District