Franz Josef Walk

1.5 hrs

5.4 km

Highlights

  • Franz Josef Glacier views
  • Forest walk

Proximity

GRADE: EASY

The access road and tracks can be closed due to rock falls or flooded rivers.

Not for the fainthearted, this track winds through a rocky riverbed. You'll be rewarded with stunning glacier views.

West Coast
Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast

By Tourism New Zealand

West Coast
Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast

By Julian Apse

West Coast
Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast

By AAT Kings

West Coast
Franz Josef Glacier , West Coast

By anthonycramp

The first 15 minutes of the Franz Josef walk are a breeze as the track winds through forest. The track becomes more challenging when it reaches the rocky riverbed, so suitable footwear is required.

The hike finishes with a short climb to the viewing area, where you can see the icy wonderlands about 750m away. Beneath the serene scene, the glacier is constantly moving, with ice and rock falling without warning. Check the latest conditions before starting your trip. 

Department of Conservation

Click the link below for more information about this trail.

Franz Josef Glacier walk

More information

Getting there

Drive or walk south from the Franz Josef Waiau township across the Waiho River bridge and turn left onto the Glacier Access Road or Te Ara a Waiau. From here, the car park is about 4km.

Need to know

  • This track is sometimes closed; check with the Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre.
  • It is a hazardous area with ice and rock fall, river surges and flooding occuring.
  • Take warm and waterproof clothing as the weather can change rapidly.
  • Carry plenty of water, insect repellent and sun protection.

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