Franz Josef Glacier
In mountaineering terms a knob refers to a prominent rounded hill which may be on mountain range. Richard Canavan was a prominent businessman who lived at Okarito during the goldrush in the 1860s.
To access the knob named after Mr Canavan drive or walk two kilometres south of the Franz Josef Glacier Village to the end of the Waiho stop bank and the trailhead. If you do not have a vehicle you can also catch a shuttle to the carpark. The track takes approximately forty minutes return and includes a steady climb through rainforest to a breathtaking views of the Tasman Sea and the Franz Josef Glacier.
The glacier carved away the rest of the land surrounding this knob of granite and it is a small remnant of a world much older than the greywacke and schist rocks found in the Southern Alps and across the Alpine Faultline.
The track is fringed by a lush undergrowth of ferns, herbs and orchids as well as large kamahi and rimu trees which are wrapped in supplejack vines and epiphytes such as kiekie. There is a park bench at the first viewpoint which looks south across farmland down the Waiho River and out to the Tasman Sea.
The second viewpoint at the top of the track has another conveniently located park bench and a spectacular visita of the Waiho River, the Franz Josef Glacier and the Main Divide. With the one kilometre high rock faces flanking the Franz Josef Glacier you really get a sense of the enormity of the Southern Alps. After a collapse of the ice cave at the Franz Josef Glacier terminal face it is not uncommon to see large chunks of ice in the Waiho Riverbed and the start of the track, demonstrating the dynamic power of glacial ice.
Mr Canavan’s most famous act recorded in newspapers of the time was having ascended part way up the Franz Josef Glacier with the New Zealand Premier Sir William Fox in 1872.
Bookings & Enquiries
For more info including detailed guides, personal locator beacons, weather updates etc, visit the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre in the Franz Josef Glacier township.
Check out the DOC web site for more info on all things outdoor www.doc.govt.nz