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  • Address: Franz Josef, New Zealand
  • Admission: Free
One of New Zealand’s most photographed natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Franz Josef Glacier serves up a dazzling landscape of snow-smothered peaks, rocky gorges, and icy waterfalls, feeding into the Waiho River.

The Basics
The glacier is easily accessible on a day tour from Franz Josef village and popular activities include a glacier valley walk, a kayaking excursion around Lake Mapourika, or an ATV ride along the West Coast, often combined with a visit to the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary or the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools. For the most incredible views, soar over the Southern Alps on a helicopter flight or touchdown to enjoy heli-hiking along the glacier. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • It can get chilly on the mountaintops even in summer, so bring a jacket, as well as sunscreen, suitable hiking boots, and plenty of water.
  • The glacial landscapes are constantly changing and icefalls and flash floods are common, so it’s best to visit with a guide.
  • Some tours and scenic flights over the Franz Josef glacier are wheelchair accessible—check with your tour operator in advance.

How to Get There
The Franz Josef Glacier is located in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park in the Southland Region of New Zealand’s South Island. The main access point is the Franz Josef Glacier Village, around two hours south of Greymouth, and 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the terminal face of the glacier. 

When to Get There
The glacier is accessible all year round, but the high season runs from November to March, when the milder temperatures are ideal for hiking and helicopter tours. Although much colder (average temperatures are 41–57°F/5–15°C), the weather in winter is less changeable, making for some even more impressive scenery, plus you’ll typically find far fewer crowds. 

The Natural Wonders of Te Wahipounamu
The Franz Josef glacier is part of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Te Wahipounamu, which encompasses the neighboring Fox Glacier, and the national parks of Aoraki/Mt. Cook, Fiordland, Mount Aspiring, and Westland Tai Poutini. The West Coast glaciers are just a small part of the dramatic landscapes that await—adventurers can enjoy scenic flights over glacier country, take heli hikes in the mountains, explore underground ice caves, or hike the summit of Mt. Cook. 

Tours & Tickets

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Heli-Hike Franz Josef Glacier Walk, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Heli-Hike Franz Josef Glacier Walk

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 197 Reviews

Discover the best of New Zealand’s natural beauty on this small-group 4-hour Franz Josef Glacier walk. Travel by helicopter to the Pinnacles area of the ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $313.86
Heli Hiking Franz Josef, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, Eco Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Heli Hiking Franz Josef

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 155 Reviews

Combine a scenic helicopter flight over Franz Josef Glacier with a 2-hour guided walk on glacial terrain during this exhilarating tour from Franz Josef. Find ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $307.03
Franz Josef Glacier Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, Ski & Snow
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Franz Josef Glacier Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

From sea level rising to the heart of the magnificent Southern Alps, this 20-minute helicopter flight explores the awe-inspiring ice falls of the Franz Josef ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Duration: 20 minutes (approx.)

From USD $167.53
Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight from Franz Josef, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, Helicopter Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight from Franz Josef

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 72 Reviews

Marvel at some of New Zealand’s most amazing scenery on this once-in-a-lifetime 30-minute helicopter flight over the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Enjoy ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $215.40
Fox and Franz Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight from Franz Josef, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Fox and Franz Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight from Franz Josef

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Twice the ice! Explore the glacial icefalls of not one but two glaciers - Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier on this 30-minute helicopter flight. Discover up ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Duration: 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $215.40
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, Helicopter Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

4.5 star rating: Recommended 76 Reviews

On this day trip from Franz Josef experience New Zealand's stunning nature of the Franz Josef Glacier. This relaxing, interpretive walk to the glacier is the ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $54.02
2-Hour ATV Quad Bike Tour from Franz Josef, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, Ski & Snow
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

2-Hour ATV Quad Bike Tour from Franz Josef

4 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Tucked under the majestic Southern Alps on New Zealand's rugged untamed West Coast sits Franz Josef village and the magnificent Franz Josef glacier offering ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $109.41
Franz Josef Mountain Scenic Helicopter Flight, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Franz Josef Mountain Scenic Helicopter Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

Experience two of New Zealand's finest National Parks, divided by the imposing Southern Alps. Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 40 minutes (approx.)

From USD $314.55
Franz Josef Neve Discoverer Helicopter Flight, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, Helicopter Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Franz Josef Neve Discoverer Helicopter Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 24 Reviews

The perfect opportunity to get up close to the glacier and touch snow. You'll be captivated as you lift off and fly up and over Fox Glacier and experience the ...  Read more

Location: Franz Josef, New Zealand
Duration: 20 minutes (approx.)

From USD $167.53
Fox and Franz Josef Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight from Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier, Helicopter Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Fox and Franz Josef Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight from Fox Glacier

4.5 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Twice the ice! Explore the glacial icefalls of not one but two glaciers - Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier on this 30-minute helicopter flight from Fox ...  Read more

Location: Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Duration: 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $211.98

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