Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier

Welcome to the heart of Glacier Country – the township of Franz Josef – nestling at the foot of the Southern Alps.

Feel the buzz of excitement as coach loads of expectant tourists are whisked away from the Alpine Adventure Centre, and aerial sightseers soar skywards in a whirl of rotor blades, bound for Mt Cook. For motorists the great Franz Josef Glacier is just a short drive plus a 30 minute walk away. A towering icefall marks the terminal face of the 12 km conveyor belt of ice, grinding inexorably down to destruction in a surging torrent of rock-powder and water.

Once you have seen the glacier, you are bound to feel a compelling desire to walk on its curiously contorted and strangely beautiful surface. You can sign up for a half-day tour with The Guiding Company, at the Alpine Adventure Centre. They will fit you out with glacier boots, socks, raincoat, overpants, hats, gloves, fleece jumper and walking poles.

Bus Pass New Zealand

Walking on the ice is a truly great experience. The well-trained guides cut steps in the glacial ice terrain and lead you safely through seracs, pinnacles, caves and crevasses, while interpreting the geology of the translucent blue wonder beneath your feet. The Guiding Company has much more fun on offer. Their full-day tour provides 6 hours of exploration through breathtaking sapphire blue caves and ice pinnacles on the glacier’s second icefall. Heli-hiking takes you even higher for magnificent alpine views. Ice climbing gives you the skills to ‘hang in there’ on vertical walls. After your tour kick back in Cafe Franz, enjoy a cold beer and sizzling steak or use the internet facilities.

You can also enjoy independent walks in the area including the Glacier Valley Walk, Sentinel Rock Lookout and Douglas Walk. The longer Robert’s Point and Alex Knob Tracks lead into the sub-alpine terrain under the high peaks of the Southern Alps.

To get up close and personal with a creeping, rumbling giant like this namesake of the Austro-Hungarian emperor, is to experience the true magnificence of the wild West Coast.

By | 2016-11-26T18:58:56+00:00 October 15th, 2013|West Coast|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

Leave A Comment