1.5 Hrs 5.4 km


  • Franz Josef Glacier views
  • Forest walk



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 Track,, West Coast

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

Track conditions often change. Be prepared by checking with the Department of Conservation before you go.

Franz Josef Glacier walk(opens in new window)

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 rockfall, river surges and flooding occurring.
  • Take warm and waterproof clothing as the weather can change rapidly.
  • Carry plenty of water, insect repellent and sun protection.

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