Most people travelling to Franz Josef.
come to visit the iconic Glaciers and are unaware there is a lot of things to do, see and experience. All activities in Franz Josef are weather dependent and people booked on activities pay only when they go. It is advisable to book your activities to ensure your place as most activities are restricted to numbers.
We are more than happy to book your activities or assist you in developing an itinerary for your visit to enable you to experience Franz Josef at its best browse through the things to do then email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us by phone us and we will help make it happen for you.
Things To Do In Franz Josef
It is not until you place your footprints onto a high alpine snow field, journey deep into the towering rainforests, explore the blue ice caves of the glaciers, tackle a trout on a beautiful lake or jetboat up a glacial river, that you will truly experience Glacier Country.
Here, we've included details of tourism operators who can help you explore and experience the many activities and attractions on offer in Glacier Country.
Walks and Exploration
* The Department of Conservation welcomes you to the Franz Josef Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere and Fox Te Moeka o Tuawe Glaciers within the Westland Tai Poutini National Park and Te Wahipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Spectacular scenery and a fascinating cultural heritage combine in this area to offer you exciting and interesting recreational opportunities. The DOC Visitor Centre at Franz Josef is a great starting point to get your bearings. The Visitor Centre offers interesting displays and detailed information about the Glaciers and Westland Tai Poutini National Park. The centre screens an excellent audio-visual. Up to date weather forecasts are provided daily and make sure you ask about the recreational opportunities in the area. Hut tickets and hunting permits are available as well as a range of conservation gifts and essential outdoor equipment.
Across Country Quad Bikes Franz Josef
* Ride on new Two Seater, Automatic Bombardier Quad Bikes
* 16yrs plus can drive 8yrs & upwards can be a passenger
* See the Glacier from a new angle! Riverbed, Native Bush and Grassland we cover it all! Our guides know the area. Trip approx 11/2 to 2 hours return
* This is a must do family, group or teambuilding experience
* Stormflex wet weather gear, and ATV Gumboots provided free
* We can arrange group bookings so get your friends together!
Helihike Franz Josef Glacier
The most incredible guided glacier experience includes:
* Awesome scenic helicopter flight
* Experienced, professional pilot
* 2 hour glacier walk, allow 3 hours
* Ice caves, seracs, pinnacles
* Pristine alpine environment
* Extraordinary ice flow colours - above and up close
* Skilful guides from Franz Josef Glacier Guides
* Average fitness required
Air Safaris Scenic Flights
* A scenic flight is a great way to view the glaciers. Choose from fixed wing and helicopter flights, some with a snow landing on the glacier neve.
* New Zealandís most scenic skydive.
* Take off over the rainforest viewing Lake Matheson and coastal views from Hokitika to Haast. Then climb to the western faces of Mt Cook with spectacular mountain and glacier views.
* 9000ft -12,000ft
* 20 years Skydiving Experience.
White Heron Sanctuary Tours
* Visit New Zealandís only White Heron (Kotuku) nesting colony
* Seasonal October to March (2 hour tour)
* View the magnificent Kotuku, Royal Spoonbill, Little Shag and other birdlife, all in their natural environment
* Jet boating and sightseeing all year round
* The only genuine white heron tour.
Okarito Nature Tours
* We are a small family run kayaking company on Okarito Lagoon.
* Explore pristine rainforest and river deltas
* Magnificent mountain views
* View white heron (Kotuku) and other New Zealand birds in their feeding ground
* Guided trips or Freedom Rental
* Experience not necessary
* Quality sea kayaks and equipment
Okarito Kiwi Tours
* This is the only place on the Mainland where you can join a guided tour that takes you deep into kiwi habitat at night to hear or see the kiwi in its natural environment.
* We offer low-impact, low-key personalised guiding in an educational and interpretive style.
* Trips depart 20 minutes prior to sunset from Okarito.
More Things You Can Do
The West Coast Wildlife Centre
* The West Coast Wildlife Centre, New Zealand is a brand new all weather attraction located in the centre of Franz Josef. It is the official home to the incubation and captive rearing programme for New Zealandís rarest Kiwi Ė the Rowi. The Rowi is only found around the town of Franz Josef in the Okarito Forest.
Glacier Valley Eco Tours
* We take pride in guiding to suit our clients age and ability. Interesting conversation, excellent information & personal attention.
* We can take you there:
o Franz Josef/Fox Glacier Terminals
o Lake Matheson
o Okarito Beach
* Individuals - Couples - Families
* Hot drinks & snacks provided
* Glacier Shuttle $10 return to all local tracks Est 1990
Flowing West - The Glacier Movie
* See the Flowing West glacier movie on the GIANT HELIMAX screen at the Alpine Adventure Centre. Combines the full screen imagery of a sensory journey through glacier country with full surround digital sound. An absolute must see. Daily from 10.30am. Other times available, subject to minimum numbers, except 5.00pm
Glacier Country Tours and Kayaks
* Fun & informative half day kayak tours and rentals of a pristine rainforest lake with a magnificent alpine & glacier backdrop.
* We journey across the lake and into the Okarito State Forest via a hidden estuary, a primeval location remnant of the world during the Jurassic.
* The location not only boasts outstanding views, everyone comments on the quiet and tranquility, but it's the vibrant climate change on the backdrop of New Zealands highest mountain peaks often mirrored on the black tannin filled waters, that leave folk impressed with the location. Its an outstanding kayak location with a world class backdrop.
* Free photos of you reflected in the waters of this World Heritage Park scenic gem. Mirror like reflections and easy paddling in the morning, fun on waves and wonderful sunset light in the evening.
* Heli rafting specialists, licensed, experienced and entertaining local guides. Pick up from Franz Joseph or meet at the river. Free photos taken by our safety kayaker on every trip. No experience necessary.
Beaumont Buggys Offroad Driving Fun
* Off road buggys 250cc (2 seater go karts) located 5 kms South of Franz Josef. Offroad driving through rainforests and beautiful farm country with Spectacular mountain views, an affordable fun activity for the whole family.
* Drivers must be 14 yrs or over
* All wet weather and safety gear provided (helmets, boots, waterproof trousers and coats)
* Just bring yourself, your camera, and warm clothing if cold.
South Westland Horse Treks, Franz Josef, New Zealand
Experience the beauty of New Zealand's Rider enjoying the meadowFranz Josef Glacier country on horseback. This is horse riding in paradise with a stunning backdrop of mountain ranges and rainforest. Soak up the magnificent views of the Southern Alps and the spectacular glacier, as you trek over lush farmland, glacial moraine and riverbed.
Our trekking guides are very experienced riders and fully understand that if you are accustomed to being on horseback, you will expect to enjoy your ride at a faster pace than a walk. Our aim is to make your ride the unforgettable experience you deserve. Treks are tailored to suit all - the non-rider to the experienced horse person.
Horse trekking on New Zealand's West CoastOur Appaloosa horses are quiet and well mannered, making them suitable mounts for even the most nervous rider. Treks progress at a safe pace, adjusted to your level of experience, and vary in length from 1 to 6 hours, all year round. Trek routes and times may vary depending on the weather.
Hunting and Fishing
The Native bush, rivers, and sea throughout the west coast offers a wide variety of wild foods. Experienced guides will take you on the most scenic hunting and fishing trips to bag your catch.
There are heli hunting, kayack hunting, rafting and 4 x 4 experiences to be had or if you are an experienced bush hunter just go and do your thing.