If you are an adventure buff, love being in close contact with nature, and want to explore one of the only 3 glaciers in the world that descend into a temperate rain forest, then a visit to the Franz Josef Glacier is a must. One of the steepest glaciers in New Zealand, the Franz Josef Glacier is known for some absolutely stunning features, including ice caves, seracs, tunnels and crevasses. The glacier moves faster than most glaciers in the world, moving up to 50 cms in a day. Moving at this speed also means that all the features like caves, tunnels and others are constantly evolving, meaning that more often than not, they don’t look the same for more than two days in a row. This 12 km long glacier attracts over 2,50,000 tourists every year, with most people wishing to take a hike into its enthralling depths. You surely should consider adding your name to the list!
Address: Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand
Tel: +64 3 752 0763
Hours: There are no specific hours for visiting the glacier
Franz Josef Glacier is open for visiting around the year, as the place does not experience harsh weather conditions even in the winter months. There are no time restrictions for walking to the base of the glacier. However, since one can scale the glacier only on a guided tour or in a helicopter, the timings for those tours vary depending on the operators.
You can take one of the several packages available for a visit to the Franz Josef Glacier. The packages are created to suit the requirements of different kinds of travellers, with curated experiences like hiking to the glaciers, taking nature walks along the valley, exploring Franz Josef town, experiencing the beautiful nature and wildlife in the rainforest and national park.
The costs for different experiences when visiting the Franz Josef Glacier can range anywhere between NZ $ 30 and NZ $ 1000. A dip in the glacier hot pools can cost as low as NZ $ 30. The guided hiking tours of the glacier start from somewhere around NZ $ 100 and go all the way up to NZ $ 1000, depending on the heights to be scaled. The skydiving experiences are generally priced in the NZ $ 500 range, as are the helicopter tours of the glaciers.
From the long hikes up to the glacier, to the glacier hot pools, from the amazing skydiving experiences to the kayak tours in the lakes, a trip to the Franz Josef Glacier and the surrounding area is recommended for countless things.
One can drive up to the Franz Josef Glacier town, with the area situated at a 2-hour drive from Hokitika and a 4 hour and 30 minutes’ drive from Queenstown and Christchurch.
Franz Josef Glacier, and the small town based near the base of the glacier, combine to offer a truly exquisite trip in the lap of nature. The pristine white surroundings while taking a heli-hike across the length of the glacier offer a heavenly experience while the helicopter tours of the glacier and the surrounding areas let you take in the striking scenery from a brilliant vantage point. The entire area can be categorised based on the kinds of experiences on offer:
Can’t wait to take multiple pictures of this glacier? Check out our travel packages and plan your trip today!