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. The Basics
The Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools are a great way to shrug off travel stress, whether you’ve been tramping or driving or on a cross-country bus all day. Unlike typical spring-water hot pools, heated by the Earth and emerging from a naturally occurring vent, the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools unconventionally draw on the nearby glacier’s ice-cold water and then artificially heat it to about 212ºF (100°C). A towering canopy of native trees surrounds all six pools, cloistering you from the worries of everyday life. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools are ideal for anyone looking to relax and recharge.
- Lockers, swimwear, and towels are available for rent.
- The pools are approximately 3 feet (1 meter) deep, making them safe for adults and children.
- The facilities are accessible to wheelchair users but there are no lifts in and out of the pools.
The hot pools are on Cron Street, an easy walk from most Franz Josef hotels. If driving from out of town, stick to State Highway 6. Buses to Franz Josef run most days from Nelson, Queenstown, and destinations along the West Coast. To minimize your time on windy roads, take the daily TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth and catch a bus from there.When to Get There
The pools are open from 11am to 9pm daily except for Christmas Day. Things quiet down by 6 or 7pm, but to ensure the most space and relaxation, book a private pool in advance. From Hot Pool to Massage Table
If you need more rejuvenation than a soak in the pools can offer, Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools also has a range of massage and spa treatments available—perfect if you’ve been lugging a heavy pack around all day. Treat yourself with facial treatments, hot stone massages, and more.