Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksHiking TrailsGeologic Formations
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Westland Tai Poutini National Park, renowned for its Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers and the beautiful walks from 5 minutes to 8 hours that you can do in this area to view these amazing ice features, native forest, wildlife and waterfalls. The track up the Glacier river bed is 5.4 km return via same track Suggested duration 1 hr 30 min •This track is sometimes closed due to ice collapse, flooding or landslides – check the latest track conditions and weather forecasts at the Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre before starting your trip. •Always take warm and waterproof clothing as the weather can change rapidly. •Carry drinking water, insect repellent and sun protection. •No drones allowed.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • traveladdict3500
    Hasselt, Belgium783 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magical ! Helicopter ride and a walk on the glacier with a tour. Must see !!!
    We stayed in Franz Josef for 3 days hoping that at least on one of those 3 days we could do a Helicopter ride and a guided tour on the glacier. As this a rainforest country we had 2 days of pouring rain and on the 3rd day the skies were blue and the sun was shining. We had booked a helicopter tour months in advance to do on day 1 and the company that organised it was so kind to postpone the tour until the weather was nice or give us our money back. A helicopter ride is always an adventure and the glacier is the nicest we have ever seen on our travels (in the European Alps, the west of Canada and the USA). You can walk, crawl, climb through bright blue ice crevasses. It was magical ! I recommend you stay for a few days in Franz Josef so you increase your chances of getting nice and bright weather.
    Visited March 2023
    Written April 23, 2023
  • Kiwi Traveller
    Auckland, New Zealand31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing Place to Stay
    What an amazing and friendly town! We have travelled from the top of the north island and down to the South Island. So far this town by FAR has been the best customer service and most friendly we have found. Such an amazing little spot and will definitely be back. Make sure to do the helicopter ride as this is one for the bucket list.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written April 29, 2023
  • Joyman L
    Perth, Australia1,522 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must do!
    Visited in May 2023 We booked a heli-hike tour for the Franz Josef glacier and drove from Queenstown (approx. 4.5hr) and arrived an hour before our tour start time for check-in. Our tour helicopter landed on the glacier and we hiked up/down and through crevices of the glacier for over a couple of hours. Beautiful glacier and it's a definite must-do considering the glacier will no longer be around in 10 or so years as the production of glaciers have slowed dramatically recently. During our time on the glacier, we could hear the glacier occasionally breaking along the moraines. There was one other tour on the glacier and they were hiking however they were nowhere near us. Visiting via helicopter meant that the tour duration can change due to weather changes t prevent being stranded so we were fortunate enough that we were able to see a lot of the features including drinking from the glacier before the clouds rolled in and we had to leave. All hiking gear (hiking poles, crampons, ice picks) were all provided by the tour including shoes and jackets. Some level of fitness is required for traversing the glacier.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 15, 2023
  • juliegnz
    60 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    View from carpark almost as good.
    The glacier has receded, and the access track washed away. There is a short and well maintained walk from a large car park to a view of the glacier. It's been well designed to get as many people through in a day as possible. If you've allowed all day and got a nice day, you may be left wondering what next? Take some of the other excellent walks, especially lake wombat.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 1, 2024
  • Debbi D
    762 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    If it is bad weather this place can be a complete waste of time
    There are 2 quick hikes to see the glacier and luckily we were able to do so before all the clouds came in to town. Then it rained all day. We went to the wood fired baths which was nice but the town is run down and there are tons of tourbuses. Most people go on helicopter rides but it was too expensive for us.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 11, 2024
  • ExploringLife
    Moama, Australia1,657 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not to miss. 👍✔️
    Go early in the morning- like us - as the low cloud comes in very quickly. The track to both observation spots is well maintained. The main track is easy the one to the left is steep and a bit exhausting but worth it.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 17, 2024
  • Wayne B
    Morrinsville, New Zealand166 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see at Franz Joseph
    Nice easy 20 min walk to the lookout. Breathtaking views of surrounding mountains and the glacier. Make sure to go early before the tour buses arrive or the photo ops are limited.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 8, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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gabriellet787
Kununurra, Australia101 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
Although entire area is focused on tourism, it's worth a visit and embrace the amazing attractions. Landscape is stunning and all the activities an unforgettable experience.
Written March 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zg64
47 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
Went as part of a small group tour of NZ. Had guide who was super knowledgeable about the history of the glacier as well as the foliage. Visibility was not great while we were there so we couldn’t see much. Helicopter rides were cancelled for 2 days straight as well. A must see if you are visiting the South Island for the first time, but also be prepared to change your plans based on the weather conditions.
Written March 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Izzi
Central Coast, Australia12 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
As a disabled traveller I knew that walking the glacier wasn't an option for me. Nevertheless, the location of the parking and the 15-30 minute walk to reach the viewing platform meant I could still enjoy the experience.
Written March 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JOHN D
Tacoma, WA67 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
My first visit to the Franz Joseph Glacier was in 1947 as a four-year-old boy. I watched with my mother as my father and a group of male friends climbed the glacier. Just tiny black dots far above. Now in 2024 returning for the first time since then. Much of the glacier that existed in 1947 is gone, many forces at work, climate change is the most significant and constant over time – with this glacier and glaciers all around the world. Yet scarcely a climate change word from Department of Conservation, the service that manages the park. To read the signs etc., everything is humpty-dumpty and have a nice day. A symptom of our near universal reluctance to talk about climate change – I urge the Department of Conservation to take advantage of the opportunity to teach the public about climate change and its effects on this and other NZ glaciers.
Written March 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wayne B
Morrinsville, New Zealand166 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Nice easy 20 min walk to the lookout. Breathtaking views of surrounding mountains and the glacier. Make sure to go early before the tour buses arrive or the photo ops are limited.
Written March 8, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

evets1232016
Sydney, Australia437 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
The glacier has receded several kilometers up the valley in recent decades, and the former track to the face of the glacier has been washed away. Nonetheless, it's a pleasant walk of about 10 minutes from the car park to the partial view of the glacier in the distance, which is still impressive.
Written February 22, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ExploringLife
Moama, Australia1,657 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Go early in the morning- like us - as the low cloud comes in very quickly.
The track to both observation spots is well maintained. The main track is easy the one to the left is steep and a bit exhausting but worth it.
Written February 17, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Debbi D
mattapoisett, ma762 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
There are 2 quick hikes to see the glacier and luckily we were able to do so before all the clouds came in to town. Then it rained all day. We went to the wood fired baths which was nice but the town is run down and there are tons of tourbuses. Most people go on helicopter rides but it was too expensive for us.
Written February 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul B
Worcester, UK166 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
A complete waste of time, no sign of any ice at all. Felt cheated when our tour company took us up there in the pouring rain for the view attached.
Written February 9, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kristin_S_Berlin
Berlin, Germany42 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
We couldn't see the glacier anymore from the lookouts which were suggested by the visitor center and which we read about in the guidebook. The way is closed due to flooding and the signs suggested that it's permanently. The glacier receded drastically so there isn't really much left to see from these points. Nonetheless the view is quite pretty, especially all the "little" waterfalls cascading from the hills.
Written February 4, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Franz Josef Glacier - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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