The Franz Josef Glacier is a 12km long temperate maritime glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of the South Island. Together with the Fox Glacier 20km to the south, it descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300m above sea level. Glacier hiking tours can get you up close to the ice on these magnificent frozen rivers. They are both incredibly accessible from the road, with easy walks along ancient river valleys bearing the scars from ice ages past. When you get close, the glacier's sheer enormity is inspiring. Please be aware that Fox Glacier Valley access road remains closed for the indefinite future. If you prefer, helicopters or ski planes can take you to where the glaciers begin.
Tours in the region (click on a photo to get a tour details):