Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast, New Zealand

The hospitable town of Franz Josef serves the glacier of the same name. Stay here while you explore this spectacular World Heritage Area. The glacier is five kilometres from the town of the same name, and a 20 minute walk will take you to its terminal face. From the glacier car park, you can hike to a choice of lookout points for a bigger view of this awesome river of ice. If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike. Aerial sightseeing is another option. There's a range of natural attractions in close proximity to Franz Josef Glacier Village. Lose yourself in the rainforests, waterfalls, and lakes.

We are pleased to assist our guests with any bookings for activities: helicopter flights, heli-hikes, horse trekking, hot pools or whatever activity you choose when you are staying with us.


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Glacier Country Helicopters

View nature at its best, the Franz and Fox Glaciers beautiful remote rivers of ice cascading down their valleys and entering the rain forests below. This is a rare and unique attribute to New Zealand.
Glacier Country Helicopters is ready and waiting to take you on an extraordinary adventure. Simply click the book now tab and fill in the required information.
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Fox & Franz Heliservices

Fox & Franz Heliservices is an experienced helicopter flightseeing company. We provide visitors with a diverse range of South Island scenic helicopter flights and private charters in some of New Zealand's most spectacular alpine and coastal regions.
Stunning Scenic Flights in New Zealand

Ice Walks - Franz Josef Glacier

The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gem of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers. From its origins high in the Southern Alps, the Franz Josef Glacier descends deep into the lush rainforest of Westland's National Park, offering novice clients the opportunity to explore the most spectacular glacier environment available to the general public anywhere in the world.
Ice walks

Lake Mapourika, Franz Josef

Lake Mapourika is a kettle lake. It was formed when a large block of ice was left behind by the retreating Franz Josef Glacier some fourteen thousand years ago. It is ten kilometres north of the Franz Josef Glacier Village on the State Highway. It is the largest lake in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park. The lake is fed by a number of small streams that come from the surrounding bush clad hills. It drains into the Okarito River.
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Terrace Walk Franz Josef Glacier Village

This stunning short walk takes you straight into the podocarp hardwood forest. Walk to a historic gold mining sluice face only a few hundred metres from the centre of the Franz Josef Glacier Village. The walk takes thirty minutes return and in clear weather is easily completed in street shoes. After dark, you can see glow worms hidden in old tree stumps and on the sluice face itself.
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Canavan's Knob Franz Josef

The track takes approximately forty minutes return and includes a steady climb through rainforest to a breathtaking views of the Tasman Sea and the Franz Josef Glacier. In mountaineering terms a knob refers to a prominent rounded hill which may be on mountain range. Richard Canavan was a prominent businessman who lived at Okarito during the goldrush in the 1860s.
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Okarito Township and Lagoon

The historic settlement of Okarito was built on a sand-spit within the bounds of the Okarito Lagoon. Originally a Maori settlement and then a busy gold mining town, the village lies between the forces of the Tasman Sea and a natural landscape of wetlands and rainforests, dominated by the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, including Mt. Cook/Aoraki and Tasman.

White Heron Sanctuary Tours Whataroa

Whataroa is the departure point for NZ’s only White Heron Sanctuary Tour. The tour consists of a short minibus ride to connect with our jet-boat for a gentle 20 minute scenic cruise into the Waitangi-roto Nature Reserve (the only access to this area is by boat). In the reserve we disembark from the boat for a short walk through ancient Kahikatea rainforest to our purpose built viewing hide to observe the magnificent White Heron (Kotuku) in their natural nesting environment.
White Heron Sanctuary