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How to Spend 2 Days in Franz Josef

How to Spend 2 Days in Franz Josef

With two days in Franz Josef, you can enjoy panoramic views while from skydiving or taking a scenic helicopter flight, take a guided glacier hike among the ice caves and pinnacles, and enjoy fishing or kayaking on the lake. Here are a few ways to enjoy your 2-day stay in Franz Josef.

Day 1: See Glaciers Up Close

**Morning:**Start your trip with a (literal) overview of the area on a sightseeing helicopter flight. Excursions include a quick stop in the snow above the ice-falls on Mt. Cook's western face so you can get up close to the glacier.

**Afternoon:**If you want to spend more time on a glacier, book a heli-hike along the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier, and enjoy an adventurous trek on terrain usually only enjoyed by experienced mountaineers. Alternatively, get your adrenaline pumping and admire stunning views while you free fall from 19,000–9,000 feet (5,791–2,743 meters) on a tandem skydive.

**Night:**After an adventurous day, spend your evening doing some serious relaxing. Take a scenic cruises around Lake Mapourika to enjoy postcard-perfect views of the Southern Alps and Franz Josef Glacier, or go for a soak in the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools, an ideal way to settle the nerves and sooth sore muscles.

Day 2: Explore the Lakes and Rain Forest

**Morning:**Head to Lake Mapourika for some fishing or kayaking; most tours offer transportation from accommodations in the village. You could also charter a boat or enjoy a walk around the lake. All options boast mountain views, so you can’t go wrong whatever your activity. 

**Afternoon:**From the lakeshore, head to the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary to walk in the rain forest and try to spot New Zealand’s rare national bird. If the weather isn’t cooperating, or you’d prefer to stay indoors, the Franz Josef Wildlife Centre offers curious visitors another way to glimpse the nocturnal kiwi—even in the day time. 

**Night:**In the evening, enjoy a guided nature walk around the glassy waters of Lake Matheson. Snap photos of Mt. Tasman and Mt. Cook reflected beautifully in the water, or focus your lens on the snowy mountain peaks bathed in the late evening’s alpenglow. Guides usually lead visitors along an easy path for optimal views.

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6 Tours and Activities

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Mount Cook Spectacular Helicopter Flight from Franz Josef

Mount Cook Spectacular Helicopter Flight from Franz Josef

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Fly above Mount Cook’s glacial icefalls, crevasses, and neves on a 40-minute helicopter flight from Franz Joseph, and see both of New Zealand’s West Coast glaciers from the air. Your route crosses the spine of the Southern Alps, circles the summit of Mount Cook, then touches down for a snow landing, with spectacular aerial views of Westland Tai Poutini National Park throughout the flight.
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  • 40 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$353.74
From
$353.74

Off-Road Adventure Tour

Off-Road Adventure Tour

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278
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.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$129.94
From
$129.94
Taking safety measures

4-hour Lake Mapourika Kayak and Hike adventure, with Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary

4-hour Lake Mapourika Kayak and Hike adventure, with Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary

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Discover the natural wonders of Lake Mapourika on this 4-hour kayaking adventure. Paddle around the lake against a backdrop of the Franz Josef Glacier, head ashore for a hike around the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary, and learn more about New Zealand’s famous Kiwi birds.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$107.36
From
$107.36
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

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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.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$23.10
From
$23.10
Taking safety measures

Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike

Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike

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464
On this Franz Josef Glacier helicopter tour and hike, land atop the glacier and explore ice caves and pinnacles with a small group. Soar above New Zealand’s Southern Alps during a scenic flight, then grab your crampons and make your way through dramatic ice formations during a moderately difficult hike. After your return flight, rejuvenate with a complimentary blissful soak at Glacier Hot Pools. Numbers are limited to 11 to ensure personalized attention from your expert guide.
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  • 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$366.51
From
$366.51

Tandem Skydive 13,000ft from Franz Josef

Tandem Skydive 13,000ft from Franz Josef

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Skydive Franz Josef Glacier for a spectacular free fall with views of soaring mountains, ice fields, and the rugged coast. The option to select between tandem jumps from 16,500 or 19,000 feet (5,029 or 5,791 mt.) means you can customize the day to your preferences and budget, and all-digital video and photography will arrive in your inbox within 48 hours so you can share your skydiving experience with friends and family.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$251.01
From
$251.01