Things to do in

Franz Josef Town

Enter your dates to find available activities

Top activities


Explore all

Our most recommended things to do in Franz Josef Town

  • Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

    1. Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

    See New Zealand’s Fox and Franz Josef glaciers with uninterrupted views from a helicopter. Fly amongst the Southern Alps, admiring the ice pinnacles and canyons whilst learning about the awesome spectacle from your professional guide. After you check-in and have a safety briefing, you will be transferred to a private hanger, where you will meet your pilot and guide and board the helicopter. You will be provided headsets in order to hear your guide’s commentary. You will have the opportunity to stop and explore by foot at an elevated landing site, perfect for taking photos.

    Awesome guides, company, amazing part of the world. The best way to see the mountains

  • Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

    2. Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

    Explore the ancient icefalls of the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers on a 30-minute helicopter flight. Experience the thrill of a snow landing with spectacular photo opportunities, and create unforgettable memories. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers provides stunning ice architecture and are two of the few glaciers in the world which exist in such close proximity to both an ocean and a rainforest. Make your way to a central location in Franz Josef township, where you will check in for your flight. Strap yourself in to your seat and prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime ride, soaring above the pristine scenery for spectacular aerial views of the glaciers. Listen to engaging inflight commentary from your experienced pilot and admire the stunning frozen landscape below through the panoramic windows. Midway through the flight, your helicopter hovers above the ice and snow before making a thrilling snow ...

    Perfect weather for the most incredible experience. The pilot Andy was super enthusiastic and skilled. It was truly perfect. Highly recommend.

  • Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

    3. Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

    Soak up panoramic views of the Southern Alps and glaciers reflecting on the mirror-like waters of Lake Mapourika on this 2-hour scenic cruise. The lake was created by the Franz Josef Glacier as it retreated 14,000 years ago and now sits calm and reflective between the Southern Alps and the sea. Meet your experienced skipper and small group at the office in Franz Josef and take a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Board the boat, then sit back and relax onboard the Hanna-k in the comfortable enclosed cabin or on the covered back deck. Your skipper will take you through to the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary on the far shorelines of the lake and will help you spot New Zealand's native birds. Enjoy informative commentary and fascinating stories as you cruise past untouched Jurassic rainforest and 900-year-old Kahikatea trees. Sip on a cup of complimentary tea or coffee as you unwind in...

    Blessed with perfect morning weather we had an exceptionally beautiful still lake and scenery.

  • Franz Josef Glacier: 2.25-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

    4. Franz Josef Glacier: 2.25-Hour Hike with Helicopter Transfer

    Your journey starts at the glacier base in Franz Josef Town, where the friendly team will check you in. Get kitted out with the essential gear and listen to a safety briefing. Once you are ready, your guide will take you an on a short walk through native forest to the helipad to board the helicopter. After a thrilling scenic flight high above rugged terrain, land on Franz Josef Glacier and set off on 2.25-hour guided hike. With an eye for the most spectacular ice formations, your guide will lead you through some of the most awe-inspiring glacier scenery New Zealand has to offer. Each trip is tailored to the ability of your group, as well as the conditions on the day of your tour. During the hike, your guide will tell you stories about the local area and share their knowledge of the glacier and surrounding terrain. The glacier's features are constantly changing, so you might find yourse...

    Very professionally run - everyone was super friendly and our guide Andrew was top notch. Knowledgeable, friendly with a great sense of humour. He made sure we had the best experience possible

  • Southern Alps: Franz Josef Glacier Quad Bike Tour

    5. Southern Alps: Franz Josef Glacier Quad Bike Tour

    Drive a 2-seat Quad Bike along the ancient glacial pathways of Westland Tai Poutini National Park, carved into the landscape by ice and water over thousands of years. Admire the lush landscape of the dense rainforest and reconnect with Mother Nature. Meet your guide on State Highway 6 and take a short 5-minute walk to the adventure base to gear up in the provided waterproof jackets, pants, and gumboots. Listen to a detailed safety briefing before you jump on the bike and power across the ancient terrain of Te Wahipounamu. Get an adrenaline rush as the real action starts and you speed along the dirt tracks for up to 2 hours. Stop to take souvenir photos, and discover where the ice and temperate forest meet to spectacular effect.

    It was the absolut best Quad Tour I’ve ever been on. Our tour guides were super fun and lovely and

  • Franz Josef Town: Glacier Helicopter Tour with Snow Landing

    6. Franz Josef Town: Glacier Helicopter Tour with Snow Landing

    Take in some of New Zealand’s most impressive mountains during a helicopter ride. Land among them for even more spectacular views and fantastic photo opportunities. Meet at the local partner’s office to check in and attend a safety briefing. Then, following a transfer to a private hangar, you will meet your pilot and board the helicopter for takeoff. Put your headset on to enjoy your pilot's guided commentary. Fly over the terminal moraine of the ancient Franz Josef Glacier and up the valley over the ice river. Take in the ice pinnacles and crevasses before flying onwards amongst the impressive Southern Alps. Land on an elevated landing site to enjoy stunning views of some of New Zealand’s highest mountains. You will have plenty of time to take incredible photos before returning to the hangar.

  • Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

    7. Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

    Gear up for an incredible, three-hour guided kayaking experience. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Glide effortlessly across the water, taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Tours depart at various times throughout the day. Mornings are often the calmest time of the day on the lake, a perfect choice for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience not to be missed during your visit to Franz Josef.

    The best kayaking I've done, the weather was amazing, our guide was very informative

  • Franz Josef: Kayak & Walking Tour to Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary

    8. Franz Josef: Kayak & Walking Tour to Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary

    Enjoy a scenic kayaking tour across Lake Mapourika and onto the ancient soils of the protected Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Head out onto the water and take in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Discover a prehistoric rainforest, abundant birdlife, and the home of the rarest Kiwi on the planet. Throughout your tour, enjoy complimentary tea and coffee. Enjoy multiple fantastic photo opportunities, and have your guide take complimentary photos of you as you paddle and hike to the sanctuary.

    The cruise was nice and perfectly relaxing. Looking back the alpine background as you paddle towards the peninsula gives a unique tranquility base. The guide is very knowlegeable about the wildlife and the environment. I would not have appreciated a lot of local knowledge and fieldcraft survival if she did not show us. The guide looked after not only our comfort and safety but also in making sure the whole trip was recorded in digital photo without a charge. It very unique experience worth the time and the price.

  • Franz Josef Glacier Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

    9. Franz Josef Glacier Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

    Journey into the largely inaccessible heart of the majestic Southern Alps on a 20-minute helicopter flight to Franz Josef Glacier. Experience a snow landing and explore the ice falls, to see some of the most stunning ice architecture of any glacier in the world. Following a spectacular collapse of the terminal face in 2012, the glacier is now only accessible by helicopter. Make your way to a central location in Franz Josef township, where you will check in for the flight. Lift off, and fly above the glacier that stretches through Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Admire the thick forest that creeps to the edge of the ice and appreciate the spectacular views of the glacier from above. Midway through the flight you will land on part of the glacier snowfield in a location that, without specialized equipment and mountaineering guides, is only accessible by helicopter. Soak in the views, ...

    First time on s helicopter and it was very smooth with stunning scenery. Perfect conditions, loved every minute. Thanks Tim.

  • Greymouth: Franz Josef Glacier & Wildlife Centre Guided Tour

    10. Greymouth: Franz Josef Glacier & Wildlife Centre Guided Tour

    Departing from Greymouth, you will enjoy a scenic drive South, following the coastline with ocean views before heading inland to reach your destination of Franz Josef. The township of Franz Josef is a popular tourist hot spot with thousands visiting the town to view the famous Franz Josef Glacier. Walk up to the glacier along a marked track called the Valley Walk, following the river bed. The trek will take approximately 1.5 hours. On your return to Franz Josef, you will visit the Wildlife Centre. Home to two of New Zealand’s native birds, the Rowi Kiwi and the Tuatara, the centre also hosts an interactive exhibit on the glacier. There is also a souvenir gift shop and cafe onsite. In Franz Josef there will be free time to buy lunch and look around the town, before returning back to Greymouth.

Frequently asked questions about Franz Josef Town

What top attractions are a must-see in Franz Josef Town?

Which tours in Franz Josef Town are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in Franz Josef Town

Want to discover all there is to do in Franz Josef Town? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Franz Josef Town

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 129 reviews

Very professionally run - everyone was super friendly and our guide Andrew was top notch. Knowledgeable, friendly with a great sense of humour. He made sure we had the best experience possible

Perfect weather for the most incredible experience. The pilot Andy was super enthusiastic and skilled. It was truly perfect. Highly recommend.

Awesome guides, company, amazing part of the world. The best way to see the mountains

Awesome friendly informative pilot best adventure we have done together as a family

Awesome experience. Friendly staff and pilot give lots of information.