Franz Josef glacier weather can be really unpredictable, so be a bit flexible with your plans and always take a jacket on any walk. I know as a parent I hate to get the kids all excited, only for them to be disappointed, so this is a great travel tool on the West Coast. This took us around 90 minutes to 2 hours, but we also had a snack break and photo stop at the top, and we had to drink from every stream and waterfall that they found along the way. They are live webcams of Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier and this can help you make your plans. The Tasman Glacier Viewpoint track is only 40 minutes return with stairs and a pretty easy walk for kids too.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'backyardtravelfamily_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_9',155,'0','0'])); If you are interested in more family friendly things to do in New Zealand, go check out the rest of our website, or click below for more fun things to do on the West Coast with kids, (Do be aware that some of these walks do close if there has been bad weather, so do check online or with the information centre to make sure they are open. The Glacier Valley Walk by Franz Josef Guides was informative and gave us the confidence to do our own walk to Fox Glacier the next day. Five minutes into the walk there is a small up hill climb to a good observation point to take photos of the Waiho valley and up to the Glacier. From the glacier car park it’s a 45-minute walk to the public glacier viewing point. Lot of walking involved and if quite unfit like us you think will you ever get there. The track heads down the hill, over a river (where you get to rock hop across – my kids LOVED this) and along a riverbed like track. If you have your heart set on seeing the glacier, allow an extra day in the region in case there is cloud. Running shoes are fine, but you might break a jandal if you aren’t careful. Need to know. Review for: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk was a great walk! Walk past a waterfall along the wide river stone track, suitable for children. George J Roberts was a surveyor for the West Coast, he built trig stations throughout the West Coast from the 1870s to 1900. is only 40 minutes return with stairs and a pretty easy walk for kids too. , mostly flat except for a small (1-2 min) incline at the end, to reach the Franz Josef Glacier viewpoint. You can pay for a shuttle from Franz Josef township to the Glacier $12.5 each. along the way, especially up to your right hand side. We were not disappointed. In essence, the walk is quite an easy walk. Now you walk along side the road into the Franz Josef Glacier car park. Do be aware that you cannot walk on the glacier here, you need to take a heli hike to do this and you will not see the glacier at close up range on this walk. In essence, the walk is quite an easy walk. As the West Coast is very prone to rain, there are often more streams and rivers one week, and it could be completely dry the next. Winter … Then there is the rough terrain of boulders & scree. It is a flat walk and there is even a scenic track that means you are off the main road (once you get closer to the glacier) It is a 4km walk from the township to the start of the Franz Josef Glacier track. Book a single ticket to the main pools or enjoy the luxury of a private pool. You can however take a heli hike and walk on the glacier itself with Franz Josef Glacier Guides. The first 15 minutes is on a bush track, mostly flat except for a small (1-2 min) incline at the end, to reach the Franz Josef Glacier viewpoint. The views over the glacier from the helicopter were awesome too. Rivers and streams flow in different places, there is rockfall. So there you have it, our guide to the #1 thing to do in Franz Josef and if the stars align and the weather is right, I’m sure this will be one of your absolute New Zealand must dos. It is well signposted from here to the free carpark, - easy 90 minute return walk- mostly flat gravel trail and bush track- rock bridges to cross the river- waterfalls- Franz Josef Glacier viewpoint. You can no longer walk up the Waiho River via Callery Gorge. I wish I could climb the glacier, but maybe I will climb Mt Everest instead one day to get on the ice. For more details about the Glacier Hot Pools click here. We actually walked in hiking boots because I just find them more stable, but they aren’t necessary, I just prefer them. It is said to be unsuitable for an overnight stay, it may have a stony floor and no windows but it is better then sleeping out in the open. It is a roped off section so you really can’t go any further. All of this section of the track is walking on stones. This summer the price was $12.50 each. Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike is a New Zealand must-do. We scooped up water from the waterfall and drank it and it was delicious. The walk is about 5.5km return. As it rains a lot on the West Coast, the track to the glacier is often changing. The walk to the glacier is through rainforest which makes it pretty unique in that aspect alone. They are live webcams of Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier and this can help you make your plans. Skill level: Easy. Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk. DOC have decided not to fix it. The West Coast is known for its inclement weather. Franz Josef Glacier Valley/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere Walk This is the classic walk everyone who visits has to do and it’s one of the most popular things to do in Franz Josef glacier. From Franz Josef township drive south over the Waiho River bridge. Walk to Franz Josef Glacier. Nice and easy terrain and lovely explanations from the guides. Time: One hour. We were not disappointed. Skill level: Easy. It can get quite cold in Franz Josef even in the summer. Want to share your walking and hiking tips and advice? Price: $180 per person Price: Child $90 (Aged 12 to 15)A Tour Departs: 9:00 am Tour Duration: 4 Hours. This is an easy track for kids to walk, but it is a 5km return track. Enjoy reflective views of the glacier and mountain peaks from the smaller kettle lake. How long is the Franz Josef Glacier Hike with kids? Do be aware that you cannot walk on the glacier here, you need to take a heli hike to do this and you will not see the glacier at close up range on this walk. There’s so many articles to add but we haven’t had time yet, if you’re looking for something in particular, let me know in a message below and I’ll answer your question in a personal reply, or even fast track an article for you. from $60.62* Popular: Booked by 1,414 travelers! Don't walk (see our must-know tips below)! Do heed their warnings. When the German explorer, Julius von Haast discovered the glacier in 1865, the glacier would have extended almost out to the Tasman sea. Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk & Hot Pools . The minimum age to heli hike is usually around 8 years old. One of the most signatures walks in the West Coast area is Franz Josef Valley Glacier Walk. super views of the Glacier from around 750m away. Depending on the amount of rain, will depend on how many you see. Click here to see the Roberts Point Walking Track at Franz Josef. One of the best things to help you plan your Franz Josef activities, is to check in on the. My first heli hike was awesome as you got to wear crampons (so you could walk on the ice) and check out ice caves. You could look at this as an alternative, especially if the weather isn’t good here, its often different just down the road. Franz Josef Glacier / Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere is a 12 km (7.5 mi) long temperate maritime glacier in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island.Together with the Fox Glacier 20 km (12 mi) to the south, and a third glacier, it descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level. You will also come across Peter Hendes Hut. Do not fly your drone anywhere around Franz Josef. and your turnaround point. It is one of the best things to do in Franz Josef. The best view of the Franz Josef Glacier is from the five hour return walk to Roberts Point, 600m on the opposite side of the Waiho valley from where you are standing. The last 300mt of the walk is the last small climb to the viewing point of the Franz Josef Glacier, but alas the Glacier is still hundreds of meters away, very disappointing. Copyright @ Freewalks.nz – Website built by Cool Web Design. Please take care, keep left, and keep your speed down. Walking to the glacier is over rough and uneven ground and can involve crossing streams. They estimate how long the walk will be too. So don’t be surprised if your visit looks a little different to ours. It’s only a half an hour walk, but sometimes the kids didn’t feel like they were getting very far. The day we were there we were watching pieces of glacier floating down the river which was really exciting to see. Franz Josef Glacier is one of my favourite New Zealand glaciers, as it is easy to access with kids and is totally free to see. Nature and Wildlife. Back down onto the Waiho valley floor, this is the one and only bridge to cross, to your right there are three small waterfalls where you could top up that water bottle with fresh cold mountain water. I'd recommend a baby carrier or backpack for toddlers to hold them when they are tired. Visit the our Facebook Group, ask questions, get answers, meet people, post photos and share your walking experiences! You can pay for a shuttle to pick up and drop off from Franz Josef village. As the West Coast is very prone to rain, there are often more streams and rivers one week, and it could be completely dry the next. It felt very adventurous except it was totally safe. From the Franz Josef Glacier car park, make your way to the information board then follow the path to the right. Top up with plenty of food before you arrive in Franz Josef, it is a lot dearer to buy here. It is one of the best things to do in Franz Josef. Hiking. You have to be physically fit and at least 16 years old, but you don’t need any experience for this glacier experience. What is the Franz Josef Glacier Walk like? He named the glacier after his Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Duration: Walking and tramping 2 hr / Mountain biking 1 hr Distance: 8.7 km return via same track Guess where he spent the rest of his holiday. This relaxing, interpretive walk to the glacier is the perfect opportunity to learn the role of the Franz Josef Glacier in shaping this remarkable landscape. You can also walk straight from Franz Josef town if you don’t have a vehicle. Book helicopter flights before you travel. Douglas Walk (which can include Peters Pools and historic Douglas swing bridge – 90 mins), Tatare Tunnels Walk (1 hour, 20 minutes – bring a torch) Was closed last time we were here, so check in), (above) for azure blue water and epic swingbridge, New Zealand Family Road Trip Itinerary: South Island Holiday with Kids, Explore the Vanished World Trail: Anatini and Elephant Rocks, Waitaki Valley, New Zealand. If you love visiting New Zealand glaciers, then you might also be interested in visiting the Fox Glacier, just 30 minutes drive south of Franz Josef, or seeing the Tasman Glacier in Mt Cook National Park. Are yours the same? This walk was one of the highlights of visiting Franz Josef, so below is our guide to walking the Franz Josef Glacier Valley Track with kids. This bridge crosses the ice cold Waiho River that flows from underneath the Franz Josef glacier. Skydiving in… You can’t get that close to the glacier face anymore because it’s receded too far. Even better is the private pool pamper package where you’ll have extra’s with a robe and antipasto platter for 2. Obviously the glaciers are both different, but we chose the shorter walk this trip. There is a safety board at the beginning of the track that gives a weather update and what the conditions are likely to be on the trail that day. The trail is considered a must-do on any South Island itinerary. Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. As it rains a lot on the West Coast, the track to the glacier is often changing. The walk to the glacier is an easy hike and is around 4km return. Just six kilometres from the centre of the village, Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere descends from the tops of the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana into rainforest close to sea level. That’s one of the cool things about the region, it’s always changing.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'backyardtravelfamily_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_6',108,'0','0'])); You can also do the Fox Glacier Walk, which is a similar style valley walk, but is about 2 hours return. You can already see the top of the glacier from the carpark; Time: 30min return for the distance viewpoint at the end of the Forest walk; Time: 1h30 return to the glacier tongue viewpoint; Toilets at the carpark; Path is easy at the beginning. Franz Josef Glacier walk is an easy 1.5 hour round trip walk to the base of Franz Josef Glacier from the car park. Track goes from village to glacier carpark via bush track. - Head south from Franz Josef Town, cross the Waiho Bridge and take the first left. - 10 minute drive from Franz Josef township Franz Josef Glacier Full Day Walk. This is alpine country and the weather is very changeable. It really is worth waiting it out. Drive or walk south from the Franz Josef Waiau township across the Waiho River bridge and turn left onto the Glacier Access Road or Te Ara a Waiau. But, on the track there are lots of beautiful waterfalls along the way, especially up to your right hand side. If you’re lucky you’ll also be able to see the Franz Josef Glacier helicopters fly in for the heli hike tours. Franz Josef Glacier area has some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. This is alpine country and the weather is very changeable. From Franz Josef village to the glacier you will have to drive or walk over a one way bridge. Walking on a glacier is an incredible experience. To check out the prices of flying and hiking on the glacier, click here. My first heli hike was awesome as you got to wear crampons (so you could walk on the ice) and check out ice caves. . If you have the chance to walk to the Franz Josef glacier you will be one of the 250,000 visitors a year who do the walk. The start of the Franz Josef Glacier walk is located just south of the Franz Josef township. A bonus of doing these heli hikes in Franz Josef, is they often include entry to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools.eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'backyardtravelfamily_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_4',148,'0','0'])); If you have older teenagers, you may also be interested in ice climbing on Franz Josef. But if you take a look at the photos, I think you will see that it’s quite a good view. This 1.5 – 2 hour return walk will take you as close as you can walk to the Franz Josef Glacier and one a clear day, it’s quite breathtaking. If you only want a very short walk, then this is still a good place to see the glacier from. Roberts Point track was the first track up the Franz Josef Glacier Valley. The hike is pretty easy as it leads in the valley to the glacier's face. Having travelled extensively in Europe and Africa, has lived in London and the USA and holidayed in many parts of Asia, she is not a newbie to the travel space. All of this section of the track is walking on stones. Review for: Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk the Glacier valley walk is good to try, but the weather of the day we are there is not good, raining and cold, we need to walk with quite a heavy gear, so horrible. It felt very adventurous except it was totally safe. Shop Tickets And Tours. Mt Cook Helicopter Flight and Tasman Glacier Walk. Peter Hendes also built the Gallery which is just below the hut in 1907; the steps hang off the rock wall by steel bolts and rods. If it’s your first time attempting such walks, I think it would be useful to go with a guide. From here, the car park is about 4km. Discover and book Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk on Tripadvisor. 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