Franz Josef Glacier, Franz Josef

4.2
#1 of 145 in Trails in South Island
Explore one of New Zealand's natural gems with a trek or helicopter ride at Franz Josef Glacier, part of a national park and World Heritage Site. The country's native inhabitants called this 12 km (7.5 mi) glacier "Tears of the Avalanche Girl," believing a young girl's tears over a lost lover froze into the massive sheet of ice. Europeans first investigated the site in the 1860s, when explorer Julius Haast named it after the Austrian emperor. An ideal spot for an outdoor New Zealand adventure, the glacier offers a range of hiking tours suitable for all levels of ability and fitness. To see the glacier from the air, consider a helicopter tour over the frozen mountain landscape. Check the website for deals on tour packages. Add Franz Josef Glacier to your Franz Josef travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Franz Josef online holiday planner .
Create an itinerary including Franz Josef Glacier
map
Franz Josef Glacier Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
2,686 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We did the walk (2km each way) on a rainy, cold day. The path was well maintained and an easy walk. Even though it was raining, the view was worth it, got some great photos. Toilets are flushing and v...  more »
  • better in person than in the pictures. approx. 40m walk from parking area, the crystal blue ice at the end of path is breathtaking, as well as the waterfalls along the track. Def worth a visit!  more »
  • This is a must-do in Franz Josef, even if you've done the helicopter trip. The views and surrounding mountains are a pleasure to walk through. The trail is easy and well-kept. The only downside is the...  more »

Plan your trip to Franz Josef

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Franz Josef

With the increasing popularity of the glacier among vacationers, the town of Franz Josef offers a range of accommodations to suit the needs of its many visitors. Hostels are popular in the town center, but those looking for something more upscale will also find luxury hotels. Camping is a good option if you want to get straight out into the wild. Advanced reservations are essential during peak times.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Franz Josef by other users

11 days in South Island BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA February, outdoors, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: February, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM INDIA April, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 21 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA February, kids, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: February, kids, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 13 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, romantic, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: January, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 29 days in New Zealand, Nadi & Hong Kong BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND February, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 14 days in South Island BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in South Island BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA April, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: April, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 50 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA April, relaxing, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Franz Josef BY A USER FROM INDONESIA March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Franz Josef BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, teens, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans