Recent Searches
Clear
When are you traveling?
Select Dates
Price
$0
$500+
Duration
Time of Day
RatingClear
Specials

How to Spend 1 Day in Franz Josef

How to Spend 1 Day in Franz Josef

Enjoy a full day exploring the alpine wonderland of Franz Josef, New Zealand. Get up close to the touch snow or ice, admire glaciers as they carve their way slowly down the frozen valleys, look for wildlife, and relax in hot springs. Here’s how to make the most of a 1-day visit to Franz Josef.

Morning: Glaciers Galore

For quite literally one of the coolest experiences you can have in New Zealand, take a walk on a glacier. A guided heli-hike allows you to explore terrain usually seen only by experienced mountaineers. If you’d prefer to stay warm, opt for an eco-walk through the glacier valley and learn about local rain forest ecology. Or, for another kind of thrill, take in the views above Mount Cook (Aoraki) while free falling from as high as 19,000 feet (5,791 meters) on a tandem skydive. 

Afternoon: Scenic Views From the Water

Located at the edge of the town of Franz Josef, Lake Mapourika is the place to go for fishing, kayaking, and stunning views of the nearby mountains. Charter a boat with a skipper and fish for brown trout and salmon, or simply paddle through the serene water in a kayak. Prefer a hands-free ride? Take a scenic boat cruise, which offers photo ops of the Southern Alps and the glaciers reflected in the water. Most tours last about three hours and offer several departures throughout the day and round-trip transfers.

Night: Nocturnal Creatures

After a day of adventures, you can warm up with a cozy meal or a soak in the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools. (Admission to the pools is included with some heli-hiking tours.) You might also want to search for New Zealand’s favorite night creature, the elusive kiwi, with a visit to the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. A visit to the sanctuary is included on some Lake Mapourika tours. If you’d rather stick around town for the evening, the centrally located Franz Josef Wildlife Centre allows a glimpse of the national bird inside a nocturnal house. 

Read More
Filter
Select Dates
Today
Tomorrow
Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details

6 Tours and Activities

Sort by: Featured
Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour

Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour

star-4.5
200
Experience a Franz Josef Glacier heli-hike as you explore ice caves and other glacial terrain with a professional guide.  Then don provided boots, jacket and ice axe for a guided hike past deep crevasses and towering ice-blue pinnacles before the return chopper ride down. Choose from seasonal departure times to suit your schedule.
More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$355.13
From
$355.13
Taking safety measures

Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight from Franz Josef

Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight from Franz Josef

star-4.5
108
Appreciate the majesty and scale of Franz Josef and Fox glaciers from the air during a 30-minute helicopter flight and snow landing. Enjoy aerial views over both glaciers from your prime position in the sky, and hear live commentary from the professional pilot before landing atop either Fox or Franz Josef. Then hop out and focus your camera lens on a glacial scene of frozen icefalls, glowing blue ice fields and plunging crevasses — considered to be among New Zealand’s most stunning landscapes.
More
  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$263.60
From
$263.60
Taking safety measures

Off-Road Adventure Tour

Off-Road Adventure Tour

star-5
283
Explore the landscape around the Franz Josef glacier and New Zealand's rugged West Coast on a 2-hour ATV tour from Franz Josef village. Take in the mountains and rainforest of the Southern Alps as you go offroad and follow paths carved by ancient glaciers paths in the wilderness. Your guide leads you through the rainforest, riverbeds, grasslands, and mud on a thrilling tour that includes use of ATV equipment and wet weather gear.
More
  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$131.80
From
$131.80
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Kayak Adventure from Franz Josef Glacier

Small-Group Kayak Adventure from Franz Josef Glacier

star-5
206
Explore the serene waters of Lake Mapourika in New Zealand’s glacier country on this kayak adventure from Franz Joseph Glacier. Paddle with your guide out onto Lake Mapourika, widely considered one of western New Zealand’s most scenic spots. Enjoy uninterrupted views as your guide explains the region’s fascinating geology, and marvel at the way the mighty Southern Alps are mirrored perfectly in the calm waters. Head into the estuaries of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary, and discover some of the country’s oldest untouched rainforest as native birds sing overhead.
More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$95.19
From
$95.19
Taking safety measures

Skip the Line: Franz Josef Wildlife Center Ticket with Optional Backstage Pass

Skip the Line: Franz Josef Wildlife Center Ticket with Optional Backstage Pass

star-4
39
Learn about the New Zealand native bird, the kiwi, with admission to the Franz Josef Wildlife Center. Tour the largest kiwi hatching facility on the South Island and opt to include a Backstage Pass Tour, where you'll get 30 minutes of access behind the scenes. Your ticket also includes access to the West Coast storytelling areas and an interactive glacier exhibition. Buy your passes in advance to guarantee your admission to this popular attraction, great for all weather and all times of year.
More
  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$23.43
From
$23.43
Taking safety measures

Tandem Skydive 20,000ft from Franz Josef

Tandem Skydive 20,000ft from Franz Josef

star-4.5
21
Skydive over Mount Cook (Aoraki) and the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers on this tandem excursion from Franz Josef. Get the best possible views of the area and an adventurous experience in the company of a seasoned instructor. This 3-hour experience departs multiple times a day, allowing for flexibility of scheduling.
More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$419.81
From
$419.81