Franz Josef Glacier New Zealand is a 12 km long temperate maritime glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
Franz Josef Glacier was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast, who named it after the Austrian emperor. The glacier is five kilometres from the town of the same name, and a 1.5 hour walk will take you to within 750m of its terminal face. 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. In the town you’ll find plenty of places to stay and eat, or relax at the Glacier Hot Pools or explore the wildlife centre. At nearby Lake Mapourika, you can take a kayak tour or rent a stand-up paddle board. Here are some photos from my trip to Franz Josef Glacier New Zealand.
Read more: Visiting New Zealand