Glacier Country is located amongst the untamed natural wilderness of the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand. From the highest mountains, largest glaciers, rainforests dramatic beaches and everything in between – Glacier Country ticks all the boxes.
Create your own unforgettable Glacier Country experience from the wealth of things to do in Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, Ōkārito and the surrounding area.
To make visitors feel right at home Glacier Country also offers an excellent variety of activities, accommodation, cafes and restaurants.
The heart of Glacier Country, the Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier. The most accessible rivers of ice in the world, plunging down through rainforest almost to sea level.
Lake Matheson’s mirror reflections of the Southern Alps /
Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, including New Zealand’s highest peaks, Aoraki / Mount Cook and Mount Tasman / Rarakiroa
The small seaside village of Ōkārito with its great views, rich lagoon, magnificent birdlife and historic West Coast buildings.
Fed by four alpine glaciers, Fox Glacier / Te Moeka o Tuawe is longer and faster moving than the Franz Josef Glacier / Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere. Its terminal face is just five kilometres from the village.
Near Fox Glacier is beautiful Lake Matheson, famous for its mirror-like reflections of New Zealand’s highest peaks, on a clear day. At night you can walk along a bush path to a fern grotto to see glow worms on show.
Franz Josef Glacier area has some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. Just six kilometres from the centre of the village, Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere descends from the tops of the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana into rainforest close to sea level.
Ten minutes’ drive north of the Franz Josef Glacier village on State Highway 6 is the beautiful Lake Mapourika, a great place for fishing, birdwatching and kayaking.
The Ōkārito and Whataroa area is a ‘must-explore’ if you are interested in birds and there is so much more to offer as well. The rugged Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana dominate the landscape inland, with the impressive expanse of the estuarine Ōkārito Lagoon along the coast.
For those who like history, there is former gold town to explore. For walkers there are wetland, coastal or trig station walks close by and challenging tramps up the Whataroa Valley.