Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are two of the most famous glaciers in New Zealand and are located on the west coast of the South Island. The area is known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities, making it a popular destination for travelers. This guide will cover two must-do outdoor activities, two must-see places, and one unusual tip for travelers visiting the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers.
One of the most popular activities in the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers is hiking on the glaciers. Several guided hiking tours available will take you through the stunning ice formations and give you an up-close view of the glaciers. The guides will also provide you with all the necessary equipment, including crampons and ice axes. You can choose from half-day or full-day tours depending on your preferences.
For adrenaline junkies, skydiving over the glaciers is an unforgettable experience. The views of the glaciers and surrounding mountains from above are breathtaking. There are several skydiving companies in the area that offer tandem jumps, so even if you’re a first-timer, you can still enjoy this thrilling activity.
Lake Matheson is a stunning glacial lake located near Fox Glacier. The lake is famous for its reflective surface, providing a perfect mirror image of the mountains on a clear day. A walk around the lake is a must-do activity, and several walking tracks offer different views of the lake.
After a day of hiking or skydiving, the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools are the perfect place to relax and unwind. The hot pools are set in a rainforest, and the geothermal activity in the area naturally heats the water. There are several pools available, ranging in temperature from 36 to 40 degrees Celsius.
The skies above Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are some of the clearest in the world, making it an ideal place for stargazing. Several stargazing tours available will take you to remote locations where you can see the Milky Way, shooting stars, and other celestial objects. It’s an unforgettable experience and one that many visitors overlook.
The Haast Blue Pools are a series of crystal-clear pools located between the West Coast and Wanaka in the Haast Pass. The pools are known for their bright blue color due to the water’s glacial sediment. A short walk will take you to a bridge where you can get a stunning view of the pools.
The Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary is a protected area located near the town of Okarito on the West Coast. The sanctuary is home to the rare and endangered Okarito brown kiwi, which can be difficult to spot in the wild. Guided tours are available that will take you through the sanctuary and give you a chance to see these unique birds up close.
YHA Franz Josef Glacier is a great option. The hostel offers dormitory and private rooms and has a communal kitchen, lounge, and outdoor BBQ area. The location is ideal, as it’s within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and only a short drive to the glacier.
The Terrace is a hotel located in the heart of Franz Josef town. The hotel offers a variety of room options, including deluxe rooms with mountain views and family rooms with kitchenettes. The hotel also has a restaurant and bar on-site, as well as a hot tub for guests to relax in after a day of exploring.
For those looking for a more unique accommodation option, Rainforest Retreat offers a range of options, including treehouses, lodges, and camping sites. The retreat is set in a beautiful rainforest setting and has a restaurant, bar, and spa on-site. The location is only a short drive from Franz Josef Glacier.
Te Waonui Forest Retreat is an excellent choice. The hotel is located in a stunning rainforest setting and offers deluxe rooms with private balconies and hot tubs. The hotel also has a restaurant, bar, spa on-site, fitness center, and sauna.
Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers offer a wide range of outdoor activities and natural wonders to explore. Hiking on the glaciers and skydiving are two of the most popular activities, while Lake Matheson and the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools are must-see places. Don’t forget to take advantage of the area’s clear skies and go stargazing as well. With so much to see and do, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are a must-visit destination for travelers in New Zealand.