The West Coast's two largest glaciers – Fox and Franz Josef – extend almost to sea level, making parts of them easily accessible for walking and hiking.

There are several ways to experience the glaciers, including the spectacular Franz Josef Walk – a moderate 1 ½ hour return walk up the glacier valley. You can also walk to the terminus of either glacier, or hike through the bush to a viewing point.

Visit the spectacular Paparoa National Park on the Porari River Track, another brief walk that lasts for 1 hour or just under. Pass between dramatic limestone cliffs and take in the views of sub-tropical forest.

The Ship Creek walk near the Haast township provides an insight into ancient Kahikatea swamp forest, with a boardwalk providing easy viewing of the forest. Keep on walking to the dune lake where you'll find magnificent views of the windswept coastline.

 

Recommended Experiences

  1. Ship Creek Walks

    • Ancient forest
    • Tall kahikatea
    • Overlook Lake Mataketake

    GRADE: EASIEST

    • 30 mins (return)
    • 1 Km
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    west-coast

    West Coast

  2. Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk

    • Moraines and ancient glaciers

    GRADE: EASIEST
    The glacier valley is a hazardous area. Observe all signs and stay behind barriers.

    • 1 hr
    • 2.6 km (return)
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    west-coast

    West Coast

  3. Blue Pools Track

    • Swing bridge
    • Native beech forests
    • Azure blue pools

    GRADE: EASIEST

    • 1 hour
    • 1.5 km(return)
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    lake-wanaka

    Wanaka

  4. Pororari River Track

    • Limestone gorge
    • River with deep pools
    • Lookout point

    GRADE: EASY

    • 1 hr
    • 7 km
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    west-coast

    West Coast

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