Visit Franz Josef
The enormous Franz Josef and Fox glaciers form the centrepiece of the Westland National Park and are two of the west coast's biggest crowd-pullers.
They are among the best examples of glaciology in the world. When the clouds are heavy they can be rather sullen landscapes, but when the sun shines the ice sparkles and guided walks and scenic flights resume.
Franz Josef, named after the Austrian emperor, is the larger of the two. Fox Glacier, named after Sir William Fox, a former prime minister of New Zealand, is no less dramatic, though the village at its base has fewer hotels and restaurants than the one at Franz Josef.
Tourists need a guide to walk or climb on either glacier, but it's a great experience to strap on crampons and make your way through arches of blue ice and across small crevasses.
Top itineraries in Franz Josef
With boutique hotel stays and car hire included throughout, this curated road trip perfectly showcases the unique cultures and natural wonders of New Zealand's North and South islands.
This 21-day tailor-made itinerary combines the best that Australia and New Zealand have to offer. You'll explore New Zealand's world-famous glaciers and remote fjords with a self-drive before discovering Australia's sacred Ayers Rock, stunning beaches and delightful waterside cities.
From the subtropical beaches of the Bay of Islands, the geothermal pools of Rotorua and wine lands of Hawke's Bay to the majestic glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef and the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, New Zealand is home to some of the world's most spectacular driving routes.
Top places to stay in Franz Josef
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