Franz Josef is a small town in the Westland National Park in the West Coast region of the South Island, New Zealand; it is located 23 kilometres from the township of Fox Glacier.
Franz Josef is one is one of the main tourist attractions of the West Coast because of its glacier which is five kilometres from the town and a 20 minute walk will take you to its terminal face. You are able to hike to a choice of lookout points for a better view of this awesome river of ice. If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike which is a hike mixed with a helicopter flight.
You can see it all from above as aerial sightseeing is also available. In the town you'll find quite a few nice places to stay and eat. The fun doesn't stop there though at nearby Lake Mapourika there are kayaks for hire.
Franz Josef History
Franz Josef Glacier was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast, who named it after the Austrian emperor.
Main Towns in the West Coast Region
Oher Towns in the West Coast Region