Trip Planner : South Pacific / New Zealand / South Island / West Coast Region / Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) / Franz Josef / Nature / Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier, Franz Josef
Categories: Geologic Formations, Nature & Parks
Explore one of New Zealand's natural gems with a trek or helicopter ride at Franz Josef Glacier, part of a national park and World Heritage Site. The country's native inhabitants called this 12 km (7.5 mi) glacier "Tears of the Avalanche Girl," believing a young girl's tears over a lost lover froze into the massive sheet of ice. Europeans first investigated the site in the 1860s, when explorer Julius Haast named it after the Austrian emperor. An ideal spot for an outdoor New Zealand adventure, the glacier offers a range of hiking tours suitable for all levels of ability and fitness. To see the glacier from the air, consider a helicopter tour over the frozen mountain landscape. Check the website for deals on tour packages. To visit Franz Josef Glacier on your trip to Franz Josef, use our Franz Josef travel itinerary maker.
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Glacier was not as spectacular as we had expected after hike to it. However, a delightful and unexpected surprise on hike were the beautiful waterfalls along the way. Well worth the hike to see both. ... read more »
We took a helicopter ride to the glacier and hiked around for a few hours with a guide. It's super fun. Scenery is spectacular and how often do you get to tramp on a glacier?
You can either view the glacier from a distance or take a leisurely walk up close. I chose to view from a distance as the rain was torrential. Definitely worth seeing.
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