7 Fun Ways to See the West Coast

Whether you plan to see the attractions of the Franz Josef area at a leisurely pace or want to get the heart pumping we have it all covered.

By Air

Helicopter Tours: Want to drop down at any designated landing site within the Westland National Park? In Franz Josef you can take in the most epic views in the area by booking a scenic flight. This includes an actual snow landing on a glacier anytime of the year, the most preferred way to experience the glacial environment in its enormity.  You can also include the stunning Fox Glacier and move on towards the majestic Mount Cook.


Skydiving: Get those adrenaline levels escalating and skydive one of New Zealand’s most incredible and diverse locations –  the Franz Joseph Glacier and surrounding areas. Be amazed by our highest stretch of snow-capped mountains and crystal blue skies. The highest jump is an impressive 18,000 feet, where you can also overlook lush rainforest, rampant rivers, the Tasman Sea, shining lakes and divine beaches.
 

By Ice

Ice Walks: See the magnificence of the Franz Josef Glacier by choosing from a variety of ice exploration walks. See the gem of New Zealand’s glacial portfolio up close and personal by finding a hiking tour suited to your ability and fitness levels. There are many ice trekking options which include hiking gear and often hot pool admission, such as the Glacier Valley Walk, the Ice Explorer, Heli Hiking and Heli Ice Climbing. Whichever walk you choose you are bound to see some fascinating sights on this unique terrain within Westland’s National Park.

 

On Land

Cycling: If you are after a fun day full of action take the plunge and book an Across Country Quad Bike guided trip. The terrain is varied and includes lots of squelchy mud, riverbeds and rainforest and wet weather gear is provided. Reach your destination at an ancient glacial terminal and catch the panorama of the Franz Josef Glacier and the impressive Southern Alps.

Quad Biking: From the same Quad Bike tour company you can also get some pedal action by hiring a mountain bike for a more relaxing ride on the new cycleway, which meanders through the rainforest and up the valley of the Franz Josef Glacier. Also be sure to ride out Waiho Flats Road, the end point provides its own fantastic rewards for the keen cyclist.


Water Activities

Boat Tours: Join a boat tour and venture out to the pristine location of Okarito Lagoon and its wetlands from the wild Tasman sea. You will have then reached the prime destination in the region for nature enthusiasts, getting a real feel for the varied alpine environment. On some tours you will also get a colourful and engaging commentary about the native wild life in the area and find out things you never knew about the untouched South Westland World Heritage area.


Kayaking: A kayak eco-tour adventure gives you a nearby peek at our protected and pristine habitat long with a beautiful vista of the glaciers and mountains. You will also get to visit Lake Mapourika which has its very own micro-climate so you can experience the true purity of the location. With views of mirrored lakes, stunning landscapes, views of our tallest mountains and up to 14 glaciers you will build on many treasured memories of your time in New Zealand.


If you haven’t quite sorted your West Coast Accommodation yet because and have been more focused on activities in the area, consider the gorgeous Westwood Lodge to make your stay much more pleasurable.

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