The magical Franz Josef Glacier

  • Bunnik Tours
  • 15 Jul 20

The Franz Josef Glacier, or Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere as it is known in Māori, is a spectacular 12-kilometre-long temperate maritime glacier on the western coast at the Westland Tai Poutini National Park in New Zealand.

Credit: Miles Holden

Credit: Miles Holden

First explored in 1865 by Julius von Haast, this stunning glacier was named after an Austrian emperor.

Credit: Phil Whitehouse

Fluctuating between a cyclic pattern of advance and retreat, the Franz Josef glacier is fed by a 20-square-kilometre snowfield and loses volume through the meltwaters at the foot of the glacier.

Being one of the main tourist attractions on New Zealand’s west coast, the Franz Josef Glacier is an incredible natural beauty that is a must see. The walking tour can take several hours and finishes at the first frozen waterfall known as an icefall. For those who want an awe-striking view and would rather not take the hike, we recommend you opt for a scenic helicopter ride.

Credit: Fraser Clements

To see this impressive site for yourself, you can book our New Zealand Highlights small group tour.