Franz Josef Glacier, Franz Josef

4.2
#1 of 144 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 .
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Franz Josef Glacier Reviews
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  • We climbed up to the lookout, really good view. Worth the short sharp climb. I hadn't visited in over 40 years and to mind it was a stark reality of climate change  more »
  • Definitely worth seeing. Out of this world experience. Can get a little cold, so wear layers and comfortable shoes. A guide can be useful to understand the history of the place,.  more »
  • We were there in Feb 2017 and in spite of the fluctuating weather and ill equipped clothing made it to the viewing area of the glacier. The walk is excellent. The path is along a greyish stream and th...  more »

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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.
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