Introducing Franz Josef Glacier
The early Maori knew Franz Josef as Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere (Tears of the Avalanche Girl). Legend tells of a girl losing her lover who fell from the local peaks, and her flood of tears freezing into the glacier. The glacier was first explored by Europeans in 1865, with Austrian Julius Haast naming it after the Austrian emperor. The glacier is 5km from Franz Josef village; the terminal face is a 40-minute walk from the car park.
Franz Josef Glacier destination guides
Heli Hiking Franz Josef
Combine a scenic helicopter flight over Franz Josef Glacier with a two-hour guided walk amongst the ice caves, pinnacles and seracs of New Zealand's South Island. You'll learn about glacier processes and enjoy supreme panoramic views on your small group tour, as your local guide shows you the most spectacular ice formations.
4-Day Great Southern Island Circle Tour from Christchurch
Picturesque mountains, deep fiords and icy glaciers - this is New Zealand's South Island. See for yourself on a four-day independent tour highlighting this scenic region. Travel by coach from Christchurch to Queenstown and up the West Coast to Greymouth before a return to Christchurch. View Franz Josef glacier and experience Milford Sound.