Franz Josef is a very small town. It has some great restaurants with great food and drinks. The glacier is a big walk away, so I would recommend you go with a group (it is cheap) Also have lots of outdoor activities on offer, such as quad biking- you get to go down to the river and they take some great photos.
Easy access to the Franz Josef Glacier itself. The walk to the glacier face takes around 45 minutes and is an easy walk through the glacier valley for all but very young children, elderly or disabled.
The valley provides a great view of numerous waterfalls, the glacial river and moraine. Sadly the glacier is retreating due to climate change so if you want to experience this the sooner the better. The village is geared to the tourist trade and particularly good as a base for tramps/treks. We were there in mid summer and would love to see the transformation during the autumn/winter months.
FranzJosef is a small town that is situated right next to the glacier. The only activities available are adventure sports activities involving the glacier, as well as some good walks.
Would recommend staying for 2 days enroute from Greymouth to Queenstown
Its a tourist destination. Expensive to see the glaciers...we opted to just hike but friends of ours really enjoyed taking the helicopter up and hiking in the glacier.
We went there during Winter season so the day is short. As we were doing self-drive, it took us around 5-6 hours from Queenstown to reach there in the late afternoon.
Try to arrive earlier in the day around 10am to do some hiking and to explore the place.
Went to see the Glacier - which is definitely worth seeing before it completely recedes and melts. We wanted to catch the glow worms but it was raining too heavily.
The town is EXTREMELY small - there are basically two roads. There's nothing much to do here except go on hikes/tramps and check out the Franz Josef glacier.
Otherwise, not really worth a visit.
It was a great place to base ourselves for the sightseeing aspect of the glaciers. The village was just big enough to cater for the tourist aspect.
They did cater for the tourists well. Not alot to do when it is cold or wet but we were lucky with the weather and enjoyed the outdoors.
It is a small friendly town. Good for hiking and picnics. But just need to be aware of weather that can some times spoil the outdoor activities.
We stayed overnight in Franz Josef & found it met all our needs in terms of shopping & food. The kiwi wildlife centre is well worth a visit.
The walks to the glacier should suit all abilities and are pretty amazing. The area is remote and scenic; why not try it?
it's a good place to stop over one or two nights. you may drive around within 50 Km to see two Glaciers --FK Glacier and Fox Glacier.
A very well preserver frost with verity native plants and tree. The best things is you can drive with 50-60KM speed , no car on you back to chasing you. very relax driving around this area. Perfect for you release from the busy office life.
a city made of 2 streets. small, simply town with friendly locals. but pretty much weather-dependent to do the tour to reach the ice.
i visited during autumn, and it was raining, so unable to take heli up to the ice. not much entertainment besides a hot pool.
Its a small and quiet town. But it has good scenery. In the winter time, you can walk about an hour (slow pace) and see the glacier.
This is small town and has most amenities to cater to tourists. Gas/petrol at the only fuel station is 20cents more expensive.
We were there in their winter time, which meant not too many tourists yet still quite warm to do walking tracks and kayaking.
Town in small but there are tons of outdoor activities to do. We did not spend that much time in town except to book our kayaking trip and go to dinner at a small cafe that had great lamb and fish and chips.
not sure about best time. as we went there in January and met bad weather. If weather good, 1 or 2 nights will be enough.
if weather bad and you want to do the thing only possible when weather is good (like helihike or helicopter ride), you might have to stay longer.
Take the Heli-Hike tour. It's a bit dearer but puts you on top of Franz Josef and you make your way down from there.
They rate it as moderate - I'm a big guy but made it without incident. The Blue Moon hotel sells great "homemade" pizzas (no matter what Lyn says). But please don't drink and ski!
Franz Josef is a great place if you would like to do the west-coast of south NZ and see glaciers of southern alps.
We send 3 days there and would recommend that 2 days are enough. To see glaciers from much closer - Mount Aoraki or Mount Cook is a better hangout. At Franz josepf - must do activities - take the glacier view trail and heli-landing. They are both worth it. Near-by trails at Okarita are also nice.
The breathtaking middle earth-like view at the Franz Josef Glacier trail was quite a sight for us city people.
I'd recommend just doing the trail if you're on a budget like us. Don't expect to see snow or ice up close, but have some view of it from afar along the trail. You can opt for the heli-hike if you'd want a better experience (about nzd300 or more). Otherwise you can stay here but travel out to Hokatika for a cheaper scenic helicopter flight.
Love this place. Fresh air, friendly people, food & cafes are good, and lots of adventurous activities i.
e. glaciers, hot pools, quad biking etc. Bump into familiar faces of visitors and locals.
If you are into snow and all adventure related to that then make sure you choose the right season for it.
Lovely place to be for a night or 2.
We only stayed the one day and it was pretty foggy on that occasion so we did not get to see the glacier.
However we did attend the documentary showing in town. Well worth it.
Was alarming and sad to see its decline. A great walk though out to the glacier with well-marked paths.
Excellent place to stay if you are going for the glacier hikes, it is a bigger town than Fox Glacier.
Mainly for sightseeing the glacier, close to Fox Glacier if you have a car, not much to do if raining