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Walks, Tracks & Tramps

Glacier Country has walks and hikes to suit every fitness level and time frame from short, easy 30 minute walks to three day hikes. Walk in the rainforest, take a walk to look for birds, explore historic relics and get a good workout on a tramping track with hot pools at the end. Or enjoy the easy shared walking and cycling track at Franz Josef Glacier.  Glacier Country holds delights for everyone who wants to get out and about in nature.

Here we have included descriptions of the walking tracks and hikes in and around Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Franz Josef, Okarito and surrounding areas.

Call into the Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre and I-SITE in Franz Josef village for up-to-date weather conditions, detailed guides and personal locator beacons, or to learn more about the area.

Callery-Waiho Walk Fran...

The Callery River is a tributary of the Waiho River. If you want to follow...
The Callery River is a tributary of the Waiho River. If you want to follow the footsteps of the old gold miners to the Franz Josef Glacier, the Callery-Waiho walk...

Okarito Township and La...

The historic settlement of Okarito was built on a sand-spit within the bounds of the...
The historic settlement of Okarito was built on a sand-spit within the bounds of the Okarito Lagoon. Originally a Maori settlement and then a busy gold mining town, the village...

Te Weheka Walkway/Cycle...

Walk or cycle through bush from Fox Glacier Township to the Fox Glacier car park....
Walk or cycle through bush from Fox Glacier Township to the Fox Glacier car park.  This is a shared-use track. 8.4 km return via same track.  Walking 2 hrs 20 mins...

Te Ara a Waiau - Walkwa...

Walk or cycle through bush from Franz Josef Township to the Franz Josef Glacier car...
Walk or cycle through bush from Franz Josef Township to the Franz Josef Glacier car park.  This is a shared-use track. 8.7km return via same track.  Walking 2hrs on an easy...

Waitangitaona Wetland W...

This easy access walk is both wheelchair and pushchair friendly, and it gives you an...
This easy access walk is both wheelchair and pushchair friendly, and it gives you an incredible introduction to West Coast wetlands. It takes approximately twenty minutes to complete the circuit,...

Douglas Walk Franz Jose...

Charlie Douglas was a well educated explorer and surveyor of Scottish descent who spent much...
Charlie Douglas was a well educated explorer and surveyor of Scottish descent who spent much of his life adventuring in the Glacier Country and South Westland. His surveying achievements are...

Roberts Point Track Fra...

This walk takes around five hours return from the Franz Josef Glacier carpark. It climbs...
This walk takes around five hours return from the Franz Josef Glacier carpark. It climbs via a rocky track and multiple swing bridges to a high viewpoint above Franz Josef...

Franz Josef Glacier Val...

Most of the glaciers that have made the area famous are molten rivers of silver...
Most of the glaciers that have made the area famous are molten rivers of silver and white on the horizon. However, the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are the exception...

Sentinel Rock Walk Fran...

In military speak a sentinel is a guard who stands watch over a nominated area....
In military speak a sentinel is a guard who stands watch over a nominated area. This glacier smoothed outcrop of schist bedrock quietly watches over the Franz Josef Glacier Valley...

Pakihi Walk Okarito

The Pakihi Walk is within the bounds of the Okarito Kiwi Zone. On a clear...
The Pakihi Walk is within the bounds of the Okarito Kiwi Zone. On a clear day you can get a panoramic view of the Southern Alps, the rainforest and the...

Minnehaha Walk Fox Glac...

This easy all-weather track is well graded and sheltered by the moss strewn forest and...
This easy all-weather track is well graded and sheltered by the moss strewn forest and a wealth of ferns. The track is wheelchair and pushchair friendly, and takes about 20...

Alex Knob Track Franz J...

  Location The Alex Knob Track takes approximately eight hours return and climbs steadily through a variety...
  Location The Alex Knob Track takes approximately eight hours return and climbs steadily through a variety of vegetation types. The trailhead is half way up the Franz Josef Glacier Access Road...

Okarito Trig & 3 Mi...

The site of the Okarito Trig viewing platform was once a vital hub for the...
The site of the Okarito Trig viewing platform was once a vital hub for the first survey network. Surveyor explorers such as Julius von Haast, Gerhard Muller and Charlie Douglas...

Peak View Lookout Fox G...

This lookout is a two minute walk from the car park on Cook Flat Road....
This lookout is a two minute walk from the car park on Cook Flat Road. Enjoy the picnic area and on a clear day use the plane table. It is...

Moraine Walk Fox Glacie...

This easy walk is a perfect example of how plants can quickly regenerate after a...
This easy walk is a perfect example of how plants can quickly regenerate after a glacier has retreated. It takes forty minutes return, and you can see all stages of...

Terrace Walk Franz Jose...

This stunning short walk takes you straight into the podocarp hardwood forest. Walk to a...
This stunning short walk takes you straight into the podocarp hardwood forest. Walk to a historic gold mining sluice face only a few hundred metres from the centre of the...

Swing Bridge Walk Fox G...

This carefully graded short walk allows you to capture stunning views of the Fox Glacier...
This carefully graded short walk allows you to capture stunning views of the Fox Glacier and cross a historic swing bridge. Location The track can be accessed from the Chalet Lookout car...

Lake Mapourika

Lake Mapourika is a kettle lake. It was formed when a large block of ice...
Lake Mapourika is a kettle lake. It was formed when a large block of ice was left behind by the retreating Franz Josef Glacier some fourteen thousand years ago. It...

Mount Fox Route Fox Gla...

The cliché in the early guide books that this track is “not for the faint...
The cliché in the early guide books that this track is “not for the faint hearted” is no exaggeration. If you are fit and experienced it will take you about...

Tatare Tunnels Walk Fra...

The track takes you to the tunnels that were blasted through bedrock and used to...
The track takes you to the tunnels that were blasted through bedrock and used to supply water to Waiho River sluice face during the historic gold rush. The walk takes...

Copland Track - Welcome...

It takes around seven hours to reach the Welcome Flat Hut via a well marked...
It takes around seven hours to reach the Welcome Flat Hut via a well marked track and there is the added bonus of the relaxing natural hot pools. The hut...

Fox Glacier Valley Walk

The Fox Glacier is the largest and longest of the spectacular West Coast glaciers. It...
The Fox Glacier is the largest and longest of the spectacular West Coast glaciers. It is remarkable in that it ends in temperate rainforest, 250 metres above sea level and...

Lake Matheson Fox Glaci...

Tucked between two moraine terraces on the northern side of the Cook River Flats Lake...
Tucked between two moraine terraces on the northern side of the Cook River Flats Lake Matheson is one of the most well-known ‘postcard’ scenes in New Zealand. This is one...

Canavan's Knob Fra...

In mountaineering terms a knob refers to a prominent rounded hill which may be on...
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...

Gillespies & Galway...

Gold was discovered at Gillespie’s Beach in 1865, and the mining madness began. There are...
Gold was discovered at Gillespie’s Beach in 1865, and the mining madness began. There are a number of short walks that will take you to mining relics and a miner’s...

Lake Wombat Track Franz...

This is an easy forest walk that will lead you to Lake Wombat, a bush...
This is an easy forest walk that will lead you to Lake Wombat, a bush enclosed tarn at the foot of Alex Knob. This is a kettle lake that was...

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