At the northern boundary of Westland/Tai Poutini National Park, Franz Josef is a tranquil village nestled among the splendid native forest of the West Coast
and overlooked by the massive peaks of the Southern Alps. Not to be missed here is the famous Franz Josef Glacier, just a short drive or walk from the village. Along with its twin, the Fox Glacier
, Franz Josef is the most low-lying glacier of its type in the world.
Visitors can walk on the ice with a glacier guide
, or take to the skies for an aerial view of this magnificent natural feature. While you're in Glacier Country
, be sure to explore some of the wonderful walking tracks in the bush and foothills of the mountains, and along the Waiho River valley. Hunting, fishing and pony trekking can also be enjoyed in this natural pocket of paradise, while birdwatchers will relish a trip north to Okarito
Lagoon to see the rare native white heron (kotuku) and the many wading birds.