WHAT TO DO IN FRANZ JOSEF & FOX GLACIER
WEST COAST WILDLIFE CENTRE
Set aside 30 minutes to take a self-guided tour of our indoor attraction and see rowi kiwi in our natural bush walkthrough, highly endangered Tuatara, or purchase our famous Backstage Pass combo ticket’s to get a ﬁrst-hand, behind the scenes look at our hatching and incubation programme and our Tuatara Encounter.
The more you put into the attraction the more you will get out of it. Just like life really.
Don’t miss our Glacier area, or Wild West Coast storytelling old hut, to discover the incredible stories and pioneering spirit that brought explorers over to the Glaciers in the past, and still does so to this very day.
FRANZ JOSEF HELI HIKE
A first-hand exploration of a glacier by chopper, seeing only what experienced mountaineers can reach is a wilderness experience you’ll never forget.
From our Franz Josef Village base, you’ll fly up to the Franz Josef Glacier in the Westland National Park. You’ll land on a section of this 12km long glacier where we’ve made a daily safety assessment of the conditions on this fast-moving ice flow. Equipped with glacier boots and crampons you’ll walk for two hours amongst the ice formations and pinnacles and see first-hand the extraordinary colours of the ice-flow. Touch the ice, breathe in the fresh air.
FOX GLACIER GUIDING
The fly-in, fly-out heli hike combines the excitement of walking on the Te Moeka o Tuawe/Fox Glacier with the thrill of helicopter flights. By flying in you can access and explore a part of the glacier where its forces work hardest and often create spectacular ice caves and arches.
Your landing site on the ice is a remote and exceptionally beautiful part of the glacier at approximately 800 metres above sea level. You will see the stunning Victoria Falls, which is the melting river from the hidden Victoria glacier. At this stage, your guide outfits you with crampons, specially designed for these ice conditions and you follow the ice steps cut by your guide as you explore the amazing formations.
ACROSS COUNTRY QUAD BIKES
The name speaks for itself, experience the thrill of riding our unique 2-seater quad bikes through a variety of terrain including Jurassic like rainforest, ancient glacial riverbed and grassland.
We can have fun in the sun and see spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the famous
Franz Josef Glacier OR as we like to say, the wetter the better to get down and dirty in the mud and water.
GLACIER VALLEY ECO TOURS
Glacier Valley Eco Tours is a New Zealand owned and operated local family business who specialise in small-group guided walking tours in Glacier Country, West Coast New Zealand.
We provide guests with personal, informative and relaxed eco-style tours which walk at your pace, with plenty of opportunities to take photos, stand under waterfalls, hold ice out of the river and treasure hunt for native flowers, birds, mushrooms and wildlife. Stop for a cup of tea with magnificent views and a chat with your experienced guide. All our half day tours are suitable for all ages and abilities; backpackers, couples and families including young children.
Join us on a REAL nature tour of our beautiful area in Aotearoa New Zealand.
WHITE HERON SANCTUARY TOURS
The tour departs from our office in Whataroa and consists of a short minibus ride to connect with our jet-boat for a gentle 20 minute scenic cruise into the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve (the only way to access this area is by boat). In the reserve we disembark from the boat for a short walk through ancient Kahikatea rainforest to our purpose built viewing hide to observe the magnificent White Heron (Kotuku) in their natural nesting environment. The Royal Spoonbill and the Little Shag also share this special area and all can easily be seen from our hide.
GLACIER COUNTRY KAYAKS & SUP'S
Now you can experience Franz Josef’s unique landscape up close. Enjoy the unbeatable views of the mountains and glaciers reflected on the calm waters of Lake Mapourika.
You’ll also get up close with some of Westland’s oldest untouched rain-forest as we paddle our way through the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary -home to the endangered Rowi Kiwi.
GLACIER COUNTRY LAKE TOURS
Welcome aboard the Hanna-K! The Hanna-K is a fully enclosed scenic tour and fishing boat designed to let you enjoy the beauty of New Zealands West Coast in comfort and style. With indoor and outdoor viewing platforms which allow you to get up close and personal with the surrounding native birdlife and rainforest. Come along with Glacier Country Lake Tours for a cruise, or a fishing charter and enjoy the panoramic views of the Southern Alps and Franz Josef’s glaciers!