Top tips for the Franz Josef Glacier Hike. Franz Josef Glacier Valley/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere Walk This is the classic walk everyone who visits has to do and it’s one of the most popular things to do in Franz Josef glacier. The hardest part about this track, is that you can see all the way to the track terminus. Douglas Walk (which can include Peters Pools and historic Douglas swing bridge – 90 mins), Tatare Tunnels Walk (1 hour, 20 minutes – bring a torch) Was closed last time we were here, so check in), (above) for azure blue water and epic swingbridge, New Zealand Family Road Trip Itinerary: South Island Holiday with Kids, Explore the Vanished World Trail: Anatini and Elephant Rocks, Waitaki Valley, New Zealand. This bridge crosses the ice cold Waiho River that flows from underneath the Franz Josef glacier. It’s only a half an hour walk, but sometimes the kids didn’t feel like they were getting very far. is usually around 8 years old. Top up with plenty of food before you arrive in Franz Josef, it is a lot dearer to buy here. Skydiving in… Head south (towards Fox Glacier) and just after you cross the one way bridge, turn left down the road. One of the best things to help you plan your Franz Josef activities, is to check in on the. Review for: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk the Glacier valley walk is good to try, but the weather of the day we are there is not good, raining and cold, we need to walk with quite a heavy gear, so horrible. Having travelled extensively in Europe and Africa, has lived in London and the USA and holidayed in many parts of Asia, she is not a newbie to the travel space. Jen has three young children, 5 and under and travels around New Zealand with them. As it rains a lot on the West Coast, the track to the glacier is often changing. As it rains a lot on the West Coast, the track to the glacier is often changing. Other Franz Josef walks and things to do on the West Coast with kids. The views over the glacier from the helicopter were awesome too. Do heed their warnings. From Franz Josef township drive south over the Waiho River bridge. You can pay for a shuttle from Franz Josef township to the Glacier $12.5 each. So don’t be surprised if your visit looks a little different to ours. Obviously the glaciers are both different, but we chose the shorter walk this trip. There are seats here, you can see a waterfall to your right and you can see the glacier from here. It is always changing, but always expect rain and cold just in case. The hot pools even have a Private Pamper Package! Mt Cook Helicopter Flight and Tasman Glacier Walk. There’s so many articles to add but we haven’t had time yet, if you’re looking for something in particular, let me know in a message below and I’ll answer your question in a personal reply, or even fast track an article for you. The best view of the Franz Josef Glacier is from the five hour return walk to Roberts Point, 600m on the opposite side of the Waiho valley from where you are standing. You can however take a heli hike and walk on the glacier itself with Franz Josef Glacier Guides. Duration: Walking and tramping 2 hr / Mountain biking 1 hr Distance: 8.7 km return via same track Want to share your walking and hiking tips and advice? If it’s your first time attempting such walks, I think it would be useful to go with a guide. From the glacier car park it’s a 45-minute walk to the public glacier viewing point. That way, you can do both Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier with no stress. Combine an exhilarating helicopter ride above spectacular glacier landscape followed by a hike to get up close to the ice! All of this section of the track is walking on stones. As the West Coast is very prone to rain, there are often more streams and rivers one week, and it could be completely dry the next. That’s one of the cool things about the region, it’s always changing. I didn’t find it boring, but the kids often do better, if they can’t see so far ahead. We actually walked in hiking boots because I just find them more stable, but they aren’t necessary, I just prefer them. Winter … Enjoy reflective views of the glacier and mountain peaks from the smaller kettle lake. The new hot pools located right in Franz Josef town are an excellent place to relax and warm up after walking or hiking around the Franz Josef area. A word of warning. Skill level: Easy. prices of flying and hiking on the glacier, click here, Take a drink bottle to fill up with water straight from the waterfalls (it tastes amazing). Walk past a waterfall along the wide river stone track, suitable for children. Franz Josef Glacier walk (opens in new window) More information. If you’re lucky you’ll also be able to see the Franz Josef Glacier helicopters fly in for the heli hike tours. Experience amazing glacier, waterfall and mountain views, whilst walking in beautiful forest on this advanced track with the safety of an experienced guide. Time: One hour. Running shoes are fine, but you might break a jandal if you aren’t careful. If you have been doing your research into weather in New Zealand, by now you will probably know to expect four seasons in one day.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'backyardtravelfamily_com-leader-2','ezslot_13',611,'0','0'])); One of the best things to help you plan your Franz Josef activities, is to check in on the webcams here. It is a flat walk and there is even a scenic track that means you are off the main road (once you get closer to the glacier)  It is a 4km walk from the township to the start of the Franz Josef Glacier track. Franz Josef Glacier is one of my favourite New Zealand glaciers, as it is easy to access with kids and is totally free to see. We were not disappointed. If you’d prefer to have a guide take you and explain all about the glacier, discover the legends and history, learn all about the flora and fauna along the way, then book a 3 hour guided valley walk to Franz Josef Glacier. The first 15 minutes is on a bush track, mostly flat except for a small (1-2 min) incline at the end, to reach the Franz Josef Glacier viewpoint. Roberts Point Walking Track at Franz Josef. Highly recommend checking it out when you are in the area. After you’ve finished your walk, why not relax in the main hot pools at Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools. I know as a parent I hate to get the kids all excited, only for them to be disappointed, so this is a great travel tool on the West Coast. The walk to the glacier is through rainforest which makes it pretty unique in that aspect alone. One of the more adrenaline-fuelled ways to experience the Franz Josef Glacier is by skydiving over it. This is the closest you can get to the glacier on this track. If you love visiting New Zealand glaciers, then you might also be interested in visiting the Fox Glacier, just 30 minutes drive south of Franz Josef, or seeing the Tasman Glacier in Mt Cook National Park. The last 300mt of the walk is the last small climb to the viewing point of the Franz Josef Glacier, but alas the Glacier is still hundreds of meters away, very disappointing. Are yours the same? Lot of walking involved and if quite unfit like us you think will you ever get there. It is one of the best things to do in Franz Josef. Time: 25 minutes. Rivers and streams flow in different places, there is rockfall. This summer the price was $12.50 each. Then there is the rough terrain of boulders & scree. What is the Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk cancellation policy? Skill level: Easy. Franz Josef Glacier Guides and The Helicopter Line are proud to show you the very best of New Zealand's West Coast glaciers. The glacier is less than 300 metres above sea level. The last section is a small incline, just 3-4 minutes of uphill and you reach the final viewpoint. You can pay for a shuttle to pick up and drop off from Franz Josef village. I wish I could climb the glacier, but maybe I will climb Mt Everest instead one day to get on the ice. If you are only going to this viewpoint, do make sure you head around the corner, just before the track goes down the hill, as this angle is far better to see the Franz Josef Glacier. This road has an unsealed surface but is suitable for cars, campervans and buses. George J Roberts was a surveyor for the West Coast, he built trig stations throughout the West Coast from the 1870s to 1900. This took us around 90 minutes to 2 hours, but we also had a snack break and photo stop at the top, and we had to drink from every stream and waterfall that they found along the way. You can’t get that close to the glacier face anymore because it’s receded too far. There is a safety board at the beginning of the track that gives a weather update and what the conditions are likely to be on the trail that day. and your turnaround point. The views over the glacier from the helicopter were awesome too. Cannot park here overnight as the carpark closes- Toilets at the beginning of the walk at the carpark, - Layers as the weather is changeable, even in summer- Water bottle to fill up with glacier water from waterfalls or streams- camera- sturdy shoes are better, - No food options onsite, but restaurants, cafes and supermarkets as nearby in Franz Josef township, just 10 minutes drive, Free downloadables, tips and itineraries and all the things you need! Walking to the glacier is over rough and uneven ground and can involve crossing streams. Peters Pool walk. The Tasman Glacier Viewpoint track is only 40 minutes return with stairs and a pretty easy walk for kids too.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'backyardtravelfamily_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_9',155,'0','0'])); If you are interested in more family friendly things to do in New Zealand, go check out the rest of our website, or click below for more fun things to do on the West Coast with kids, (Do be aware that some of these walks do close if there has been bad weather, so do check online or with the information centre to make sure they are open. Each point has photos along with a description about each one. DOC have decided not to fix it. It can get quite cold in Franz Josef even in the summer. It will take another 30-40 minutes to reach the actual glacier viewpoint, and your turnaround point. This day is a moderate walk suitable for older kids and up - we cater to suit your needs in our nice small groups. I wish I could have my own waterfall to drink from. If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a heli-hike or a guided ice walk. The 90-minute Franz Josef Glacier Walk crosses the moraine, ending within 750m of the terminal face. Walk past a waterfall along the wide river stone track, suitable for children. How far is Wanaka or Queenstown from Franz Josef? 3 hour guided valley walk to Franz Josef Glacier. Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk & Hot Pools . There is a safety board at the beginning of the track that gives a weather update and what the conditions are likely to be on the trail that day. Walking on a glacier is an incredible experience. Book helicopter flights before you travel. My first heli hike was awesome as you got to wear crampons (so you could walk on the ice) and check out ice caves. He named the glacier after his Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. One so and so, flew his drone past a chopper, almost causing the tourist laden chopper to crash. This relaxing, interpretive walk to the glacier is the perfect opportunity to learn the role of the Franz Josef Glacier in shaping this remarkable landscape. But if you take a look at the photos, I think you will see that it’s quite a good view. Follow the Waiho river that is emerging from the glacier, and in about 45 minutes, you will arrive on the viewing platform. 148 reviews. But, on the track there are lots of beautiful waterfalls along the way, especially up to your right hand side. Walking on a glacier is an incredible experience. Depending on the amount of rain, will depend on how many you see. Do not fly your drone anywhere around Franz Josef. Drive or walk south from the Franz Josef Waiau township across the Waiho River bridge and turn left onto the Glacier Access Road or Te Ara a Waiau. The Graham brothers used this track to guide people up and onto the Franz Josef Glacier. As the West Coast is very prone to rain, there are often more streams and rivers one week, and it could be completely dry the next. How long is the Franz Josef Glacier Hike with kids? You can get to the Franz Josef Glacier car park from almost all nearby hotels within a 10-12 minutes drive. This track starts from the Franz Josef glacier carpark and leads to a beautiful small pool which reflects the surrounding mountains. The walk is about 5.5km return. What is the Franz Josef Glacier Walk like? You can already see the top of the glacier from the carpark; Time: 30min return for the distance viewpoint at the end of the Forest walk; Time: 1h30 return to the glacier tongue viewpoint; Toilets at the carpark; Path is easy at the beginning. The Franz Josef Glacier is currently 12 km long and terminates 19 km from the Tasman Sea. Nice and easy terrain and lovely explanations from the guides. If you are planning for time, 2 hours would be plenty to experience it all at a leisurely pace. Franz Josef town has plenty of restaurants but only one IGA supermarket to buy your food from. You seriously can’t come to the Glacier Region and not see a glacier. My kids just love helicopters…. It is a short 4.6 km drive from Franz Josef Village on a sealed road to the Franz Josef Glacier car park. If you love visiting New Zealand glaciers, then you might also be interested in visiting the Fox Glacier, just 30 minutes drive south of Franz Josef, or seeing the Tasman Glacier in Mt Cook National Park. It is well signposted from here to the free carpark, - easy 90 minute return walk- mostly flat gravel trail and bush track- rock bridges to cross the river- waterfalls- Franz Josef Glacier viewpoint. You can’t get that close to the glacier face anymore because it’s receded too far. The West Coast is known for its inclement weather. The Franz Josef Glacier valley is a hazardous environment. So there you have it, our guide to the #1 thing to do in Franz Josef and if the stars align and the weather is right, I’m sure this will be one of your absolute New Zealand must dos. So don’t be surprised if your visit looks a little different to ours. Got questions? The access road and tracks can be closed due to rock falls or flooded rivers, and glacier viewpoints may be hundreds of metres from the face of the glacier. They are live webcams of Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier and this can help you make your plans. In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. . It is well signposted for Franz Josef Glacier and you just follow the road all the way to the end and there is (free) plenty of parking available. Travel agent should have been aware that the walk to Franz Joseph Glacier washed away in January 2020, and the river bed that one is meant to walk across to view the Glacier is under heavy, fast flowing flood water at present, 1st Nov 2020. You can also walk straight from Franz Josef town if you don’t have a vehicle. If you are looking at a family walk in Franz Josef Glacier, then the “Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk” is perfect. Getting there. If you have your heart set on seeing the glacier, allow an extra day in the region in case there is cloud. My 4 year old walked this without any issues and my toddler walked sections of it. Guess where he spent the rest of his holiday. From here, the car park is about 4km. If you have been doing your research into weather in New Zealand, by now you will probably know to expect four seasons in one day. When the German explorer, Julius von Haast discovered the glacier in 1865, the glacier would have extended almost out to the Tasman sea. One of the most signatures walks in the West Coast area is Franz Josef Valley Glacier Walk. from $424.31* Popular: Booked by 264 travelers! The West Coast is known for its inclement weather. Franz Josef glacier weather can be really unpredictable, so be a bit flexible with your plans and always take a jacket on any walk. A bonus of doing these heli hikes in Franz Josef, is they often include entry to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools. Track goes from village to glacier carpark via bush track. The day we were there we were watching pieces of glacier floating down the river which was really exciting to see. along the way, especially up to your right hand side. By no means should you attempt to walk on the glacier without one. From Franz Josef village to the glacier you will have to drive or walk over a one way bridge. Franz Josef Glacier (Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere) was explored by local iwi and in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast, who named it after the Austrian emperor.The glacier is five kilometres from the town of the same name, and a 1.5 hour walk will take you to within 750m of its terminal face. It really is worth waiting it out. Franz Josef Glacier Full Day Walk. This is alpine country and the weather is very changeable. They estimate how long the walk will be too. Need to know. ), Jen is a super organiser when it comes to travel. There are seats here, you can see a waterfall to your right and you can see the glacier from here. But if you take a look at the photos, I think you will see that it’s quite a good view. Head to Glacier Hot Pools post-hike for a soothing soak in hot springs fed by a glacier… This walk was one of the highlights of visiting Franz Josef, so below is our guide to walking the Franz Josef Glacier Valley Track with kids. Discover and book Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk on Tripadvisor. The start of the Franz Josef Glacier walk is located just south of the Franz Josef township. Franz Josef Glacier area has some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. Please take care, keep left, and keep your speed down. You seriously can’t come to the Glacier Region and not see a glacier. Walk up to a viewpoint with 360° views of Okarito beach, Okarito lagoon, 3 mile lagoon, Okarito Village, Franz Josef Glacier and Mt Cook and Mt Tasman - NZ's highest peaks. eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'backyardtravelfamily_com-box-3','ezslot_10',109,'0','0']));Franz Josef Glacier is one of my favourite New Zealand glaciers, as it is easy to access with kids and is totally free to see. is only 40 minutes return with stairs and a pretty easy walk for kids too. Sentinel Rock Walk, Franz Josef: See 47 reviews, articles, and 42 photos of Sentinel Rock Walk, ranked No.7 on Tripadvisor among 19 attractions in Franz Josef. How often do you get to see a glacier for free right? Book a scenic flight over Franz Josef Glacier & Fox Glacier, leaving and returning from Franz Josef town. To check out the prices of flying and hiking on the glacier, click here. Head south (towards Fox Glacier) and just after you cross the one way bridge, turn left down the road. Copyright @ Freewalks.nz – Website built by Cool Web Design. All of this section of the track is walking on stones. Thanks to our detailed knowledge of the glacier region, you'll come away with a whole new appreciation for Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere (Franz Josef Glacier). Book a single ticket to the main pools or enjoy the luxury of a private pool. We actually walked in hiking boots because I just find them more stable, but they aren’t necessary, I just prefer them. The minimum age to heli hike is usually around 8 years old. Travel agent should have been aware that the walk to Franz Joseph Glacier washed away in January 2020, and the river bed that one is meant to walk across to view the Glacier is under heavy, fast flowing flood water at present, 1st Nov 2020. Do be aware that you cannot walk on the glacier here, you need to take a heli hike to do this and you will not see the glacier at close up range on this walk. Do heed their warnings. The Franz Josef Glacier walk is the best way to view the Franz Josef Glacier without paying for a tour. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It is said to be unsuitable for an overnight stay, it may have a stony floor and no windows but it is better then sleeping out in the open. Get the best prices here. If you have the chance to walk to the Franz Josef glacier you will be one of the 250,000 visitors a year who do the walk. Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk price starts from US$56.70. Don't walk (see our must-know tips below)! Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. If you do see people up there, they are with experienced guides. - free parking onsite, suitable for campervans too. The Glacier Valley Walk by Franz Josef Guides was informative and gave us the confidence to do our own walk to Fox Glacier the next day. Even better is the private pool pamper package where you’ll have extra’s with a robe and antipasto platter for 2. From this walk, no. Drive from Fox Glacier to Franz Josef – 30 minutes, Drive from Haast to Franz Josef – 2 hours, Drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef – 4 hours, Drive from Hokitika to Franz Josef – 1 hour 45 minutes. Drive south over the Glacier on this track starts from us $ 56.70 share your walking and hiking tips advice! How far is Wanaka or Queenstown from Franz Josef Glacier Guides and the ice will. 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2020 franz josef glacier walk