Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Franz Joeseph is popular at any time of year

Franz Joseph township and it adjacent glacier is a popular over night stopping point for tourists doing the New Zealand South Island circuit.


The steep, short glacier is currently 12 km long and ends just 19 km from the beaches of the Tasman Sea.  Amazingly the glacier feeds from just a 20-square-kilometre high altitude snowfield. Like most glaciers  it exhibits a cyclic pattern of advance and retreat, though it has retreated significantly in recent years after a period of advancement.

Some of the 250,000 people who visit each year undertake unguided and guided walks up to and onto the glacier, however unguided walks are increasingly being restricted due to the dangerous conditions at the terminus so glacier helicopter tours are now very popular.



You can however take the pleasant walk up the valley beside the rushing melt water to within view of the terminus. Along the way look for the fault line in the valley walks that market the edge of the Pacific Continental Plate!

The town of Franz Josef is a quaint service village with about 330 residents and is just a sort drive the from the glacier itself. Franz Joseph services the tourist industry,  has a small but busy heliport, numerous tourist accommodation options catering for nearly 2,000 people staying overnight during the main season and a number of restaurants and shops selling essentials and souvenirs.

We can help you book at one of the 21 hotels, villa, cottages and motels for affordable rates, though in peak summer seasons, advanced bookings are required.

Please take the tome to review Franz Joseph accommodation options.

Also look at Franz Joesph Glacier  tours and activities

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