The hospitable town of Franz Josef serves the glacier of the same name. Stay here while you explore this spectacular World Heritage Area.
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 20 minute walk will take you to its terminal face. From the glacier car park, you can hike to a choice of lookout points for a bigger view of this awesome river of rice.
If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike. Aerial sightseeing is another option.
In the town you’ll find plenty of places to stay and eat. At nearby Lake Mapourika there are kayaks for hire.
Functional facts: Approx. population 330, Department of Conservation Visitor Centre, fuel.