Welcome to Franz Josef Glacier, one of the wettest places on earth.
Be prepared to have a rainy day during your stay here in this beautiful place on earth that is squeezed between the mountains and the ocean and creates its own special micro climate.
This tiny village is a mandatory stop along the scenic Highway 6 between Greymouth and Queenstown and has a handful of great things to offer for everyone.
Going for a hike ?
Well, needless to say, this lush area has plenty of hikes to offer. If you have only a couple of hours to kill the most famous and visited one would be the Franz Josef Glacier Walk that departs from the village. If you don’t feel like doing the walk or don’t have the time you can take your car up to the Franz Josef Glacier Car Park. From there it is a half an hour walk to the end of the trail where you can have some views of the retreating glacier. The sights of the glacier might be a tiny bit disappointing to you so if you would like to see the glacier in full glory you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets and arrange a helicopter tour over the glacier. These helicopters tours depart from the village and need to be booked well in advanced as on some days the unsteady weather might give the helicopter tour companies very limited windows to fly out to give you a clear view of the glacier. Got some more time and want to get away from the crowds on a more challenging track ? Great ! Two of my favourite hikes in Franz Josef would be Alex Knob and Roberts Point. These two tracks are both considered a day trip and you should prepare well for these hikes (water, food, appropriate hiking gear). The views on top won’t disappoint. Thirsty ?
After you return from a day around the glacier you must be hungry and parched. The village offers something for everyone. The Landing and King Tiger might be your best options to fill your tummy while Full of Beans might have a good cup of coffee for you.
And at night ?
Looking for something to do at night ? There is even a brand new movie theater in town which is playing the newest movies out there and if you want to go for a good drink after then Monsoon is your place to go. You drink, they pour….
But always have a rain jacket handy… because there will be rain. But keep in mind, it is up to you to go outside with your rain jacked in the rain and have a laugh with your friends or complain in your room about the shitty weather outside. This place remains a very beautiful place, even with a little rain involved.