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Franz Josef Town

Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended Franz Josef Town Cruises & Boat Tours

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

1. 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 landing at the summit of one of the glaciers. Step out onto the breathtaking, frozen landscape to soak in the views and capture some incredible photos. Then return to the helicopter for the flight back to base.

Franz Josef Town: Glacier Helicopter Tour with Snow Landing

2. 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 Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

3. Franz Josef Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

Take in three of New Zealand’s most impressive glaciers during a helicopter ride. Land on the elevated snow landing site to take photos of the spectacular views. 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 listen to your pilot's guided commentary. Fly over the terminal moraine of the ancient Franz Josef Glacier and up the valley to see the big three from above. The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are ice rivers that plug New Zealand's longest glacier: the Tasman Glacier. Take in their ice pinnacles and crevasses while flying amongst some of New Zealand’s biggest mountains. Admire Mount Cook in the impressive Southern Alps. Land on an elevated snow landing site to enjoy stunning views of Westland Tai Poutini National Park for 15 minutes. You will have plenty of time to take photos before returning to the hangar.

Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

4. Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

See two of New Zealand’s biggest glaciers — the Franz Josef and Fox or Tasman 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 snow landing site for 15 minutes, perfect for taking photos.

Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

5. 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.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

6. 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 beautiful Glacier Country, a picture perfect way to escape the crowds and enjoy the West Coast’s scenery.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

7. Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

Begin your adventure at the meeting point in Franz Josef to join your small group and transfer out to Lake Mapourika with your guide. Cruise across the lake in the comfort of the boat and enjoy a stunning vista of Southern Alps and glaciers. On a clear day enjoy views as far as Mount Cook.   Sit back as you arrive into the calm estuary of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. Your local knowledgeable skipper will provide you with exclusive access and will guide you through a private rainforest trail.   Follow your skipper through the Jurassic rainforest track and get local insight on the region. Spot native birds as you find your way to the scenic lookout, the perfect spot for a cup or tea or coffee made on the spot.

Franz Josef: Glacier Helicopter Ride with Snow Landing

8. Franz Josef: Glacier Helicopter Ride with Snow Landing

Board the helicopter at the local partner’s base in Franz Josef, then ascend into the New Zealand's highest mountain range known as the Southern Alps, where panoramic views await. Soar across the sky, passing over the spectacular ice pinnacles and crevasses of Franz Josef Glacier on the way to the snow landing site. Throughout the tour, soak up once-in-a-lifetime views of snow-capped mountains, ancient glacier as well as some of New Zealand’s highest peaks. Arrive at the landing site and take your first steps onto the snowy landscape. Be amazed by the sheer beauty of your surroundings as you are dwarfed by the size of this mountainous West Coast region. Enjoy enough time to take photos and soak up this magical location, then board the helicopter for the return journey to the base. Another view of this amazing and unique glacier formation as you descend back down across temperate rainforest and safe landing back at base.

Greymouth: Glacier, Heritage & Wildlife Centre Guided Tour

9. Greymouth: Glacier, Heritage & 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. On the way you will stop at West Coast Tree Top Walkway, an exhilarating Treetop Adventure among temperate rain forest giants. Experience life with the birds, high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform 20 metres high and over 450 metres long. Climb the tower to reach great views for photography of the surrounding lake and mountain range. Next stop is calling into Ross Goldfields Information & Heritage Centre, a one-stop spot for gold mining history and regional information. The centre boasts a small museum where a replica of NZ’s largest gold nugget The Hon Roddy resides. This was uncovered at Ross in 1909. Please note the information centre is not always open and accessible. Reaching the township of Franz Josef, 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 30 to 45 minutes return. Allowing you to view the Glacier from a distance for safety. 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 so you can learn more about the history of the area. 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 heading to Okarito, the gem of South Westland. Ōkārito is a small coastal settlement on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It is built at the southern end of the Ōkārito Lagoon at the mouth of the Ōkārito River. Boosting native New Zealand bird life and strong history of gold and timber. Visit the information heritage centre on the wharf to take in the lagoon and learn more about the wild history of Okarito. From here you will return back to Greymouth. PLEASE NOTE: It is important that you contact us first before booking if only one person as the tour requires two people for it to operate and we may not have a second person booked on at the time of your booking which would incur an additional per person fee. Please contact us directly to ensure tour is proceeding for the date you have chosen if a single person.

From Wellington: 11-Day South Island Tour with Accommodation

10. From Wellington: 11-Day South Island Tour with Accommodation

Set off on an adventure-filled 11-day tour to discover and explore New Zealand's South Island. Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, explore Queenstown, and create your own Greenstone jewelry. Day 1: Wellington to Kaikoura Meet your driver in Wellington and begin your adventure across the South Island. Board a ferry to travel across the Cook Strait. After disembarking, go for a wine tasting in the Marlborough region and visit the Kaikoura Seal colony. Day 2: Kaikoura to Christchurch Begin your day with a hike along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Enjoy panoramic views of Kaikoura before heading to Christchurch to discover hidden gems on a city street art trail. Day 3: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Drive to Lake Tekapo to marvel at the stars in the Dark Sky Project. Visit The Church of the Good Shepherd, one of the most-photographed places in New Zealand. Finish the day with a hike up Mount John for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Day 4: Mount Cook Spend the day at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park under the shadow of Mt. Cook, the country's highest mountain. Hike the Hooker Valley Track to Hooker Lake, enjoying the scenery, before returning to Lake Tekapo. Day 5: Lake Tekapo to Queenstown Travel to Queenstown to enjoy a delicious buffet dinner with panoramic views of Queenstown at the Skyline Stratosphere Restaurant (not included). Day 6: Queenstown Spend the day exploring Queenstown on your own. Visit the sights, go shopping, or relax at a cafe. Day 7: Glenorchy Head out to Glenorchy on a day trip from Queenstown. Cruise past the late, soaking up the views, and onto Glenorchy. Enjoy several short walks, taking in the scenery, before returning to Queenstown. Day 8: Queenstown to Wanaka Head to Wanaka to enjoy panoramic hikes. From November to May, hike Roys Peak, a 6-hour roundtrip trek, for breathtaking views over Lake Wānaka. For the rest of the year, enjoy the Mt. Iron hike with 360-degree views of The Pisa range. After your hike, visit the famous Wanaka tree. Day 9: Wanaka to Franz Josef Visit Thunder Creek Falls in Mt. Aspiring National Park. Next, head to Lake Matheson to enjoy its famous mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Spend the night in Franz Josef. Day 10: Franz Josef Design and carve your own Greenstone jewelry in a West Coast workshop (included) before enjoying the Glacier Valley Walk in Franz Josef. Day 11: Franz Josef to Christchurch Take a scenic hike across Arthurs Pass, and enjoy stunning views. Walk the Castle Hill track and admire the Devil's Punchbowl waterfalls before finishing your tour in Christchurch.

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Frequently asked questions about Franz Josef Town Cruises & Boat Tours

What are other things to do than Cruises & Boat Tours that are worth visiting in Franz Josef Town?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Franz Josef Town

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What people are saying about Franz Josef Town

Outstanding! On a perfect day we enjoyed the cruise and beauty of Lake Mapourika while learning of its history and natural surroundings. Magnificent views of the mountains and glaciers were mirrored in the serene waters. Jake was interesting and informative. Just do it! A photo album of wonderful memories.

What an amazing trip. Megan was excellent with communicating to bring the trip forward to make the most of it before the weather changed. Gus the pilot was amazing, such a smooth flight with great local knowledge and history. Highly recommend this to anyone we had such a great time.

Great outing with a good experience of the different settings from misty to clear sky and a Shalom settings with such quietness in an open lake that is unbelievable experience.

My young adults love the kayaking tour. Wonderful, beautiful and the experience of such peaceful quietness is unbelieveable.

Highly recommend doing this! Such an amazing experience. The view is something else !!