Located on the west coast of the South Island, Franz Josef Glacier is a rustic alpine town nestled in the maritime rainforest. The town is surrounded by a lake, rivers, waterfalls and lush forest to explore. Franz Josef Glacier is also home to some of the most unique attractions you can have in New Zealand, including mineral hot pools, glacier hikes and wildlife encounters for the whole family. Learn more about the things to see and do in Franz Josef Glacier and find out where to stay in Franz Josef for an unforgettable experience in one of New Zealand’s best destinations.
Where to stay in Franz Josef Glacier
From a luxury treehouse deep in the rainforest to a sprawling holiday home with spectacular glacier views, you can have it all in Franz Josef Glacier. Take a look at the best accommodation options in Franz Josef Glacier to see what you can expect.
If you’re travelling to Franz Josef Glacier with the whole family, you’ll have an array of accommodation options to choose from. You can book holiday homes, chalets, hotels, baches and cottages that offer extra bedrooms and bathrooms, outdoor play areas, toys and games, entertainment systems and a range of other features designed to keep the kids happy and entertained.
Franz Josef Glacier has many unique accommodation options for a different type of holiday experience. One of the best ways to experience Franz Josef Glacier and the maritime rainforest is with a rainforest retreat in a cottage or treehouse. You’ll also find luxury villas near the glacier, eco-resorts, alpine cottages and more. You’ll have plenty of practical amenities with unique stays, including full kitchens, extra bedrooms, outdoor space and laundry facilities, so you can make the most of your trip.
Things to do in Franz Josef Glacier
From the adrenaline rush of hiking on a towering glacier to soaking your stress away in the healing waters of a geothermal pool, Franz Josef Glacier offers an array of unique experiences for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Find out more about the things to see and do during your trip.
Franz Josef Glacier heli-hike
If you’re looking for adventure, nothing beats the Franz Josef Glacier heli-hike. With a heli-hike, you’ll travel on a helicopter to the peak of the Franz Josef Glacier and reach parts of the wilderness that only the most experienced hikers have ever seen. Once you arrive, you’ll have 2 hours of exploration with an experienced guide who will take you to the most incredible ice formations and pinnacles. The tour includes all you need for the trip, such as glacier boots, waterproof pants and jacket, thermal socks and ice crampons. The hike is appropriate for moderate fitness levels, so even fit children as young as 8 may attend.
Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools
Nestled in the verdant rainforest, the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools are a tranquil spa paradise and a huge draw to the area. The complex offers several main pools located in the heart of the rainforest, so you can enjoy a rejuvenating soak among lush plants and native wildlife. You’ll also have the option to relax in your own private pool for a romantic experience. The pools range in temperature from 36°C to 40°C, and you can choose between the Te Puna Mahaki pool of calmness, the Te Puna Makoha pool of tranquillity and the Te Puna Marino pool of serenity. One of the best parts of visiting the hot pools is that you’ll find pools suitable for all ages, so you can bring the kids along.
West Coast Wildlife Centre
The West Coast Wildlife Centre is an ideal attraction for all ages. The kiwi-rearing facility rehabilitates wild kiwi species and rears the chicks until they can live outdoors. When you visit, you can see captive tuatara and museum exhibits that focus on the history and mission of the facility. The centre also offers tours of the rearing area to see baby chicks and learn more about the behind-the-scenes rehabilitation. If you’re travelling to Franz Josef with the kids, the West Coast Wildlife Centre is a must-visit attraction.