Things to Do in Franz Josef & Fox Glacier
One of New Zealand’s most photographed natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Franz Josef Glacier serves up a dazzling landscape of snow-smothered peaks, rocky gorges, and icy waterfalls, feeding into the Waiho River.
Not only is 8-mile-long (13-kilometer-long) Fox Glacier New Zealand’s longest glacier, it’s also one of the most accessible and fastest-moving glaciers in the world, traveling 10 times the speed of other ice fields. The glacier constantly shifts as it advances, creating spectacular scenes of ice cliffs and crevasses.
Whether you’ve finished the hike to Alex Knob and back or you’ve just traveled to New Zealand’s West Coast for rest and relaxation, the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools—situated within a local rain forest—offer a scenic way to recharge. Kick back in the one of three public pools or book a private pool for your group.
One of the largest kiwi hatching facilities in the South Island, the West Coast Wildlife Centre is a must-do for visitors of all ages. Go to learn all about New Zealand’s native birds and other animals. You’ll also have the chance to see some kiwis, rarely encountered in the wild, and tuataras, an ancient New Zealand lizard species.