Useful Visitor Travel Information

Find our Visitor Information Centres and other useful information to help you plan your visit to Glacier Country NZ.  Also check out Where to Dine & Shop for more local service providers.

Getting Here
The closest airports are Hokitika and Queenstown.
Hokitika to Franz Josef is 2 hours drive; from Greymouth it is 2.5 hours.
Franz Josef is a 5.5-hour drive from Christchurch and a 5-hour drive from Queenstown.
Fox Glacier is a 3.5-hour drive from Wanaka; from Haast it is 1.5 hours.

Visitor Information Centres
Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre
Open daily: Labour weekend – Easter: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm. Rest of year: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.
Closed on weekends between 12pm – 1pm.
Closed Christmas Day.
Phone:          +64 3 752 0360
Address:       69 Cron Street, Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Postal Address: PO Box 14, Franz Josef Glacier 7856

The official Franz Josef i-SITE is located in the Glacier Base building on Cron Street, Franz Josef.
Phone:        0800 354 748

The Department of Conservation office at Fox Glacier is open Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 2.00 pm.

Haast DOC Visitors Centre
Open daily: Peak season 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. Off-peak 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Closed daily 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm
Phone:        +64 3 750 0809
Address:    Junction State Highway 6 and Haast– Jackson Bay Road, Haast
Postal Address: PO Box 50, Haast 7844

Petrol Stations
Franz Josef village:
Glacier Motors is open 8 am–7:30 pm, 7 days a week. Their after-hours service is their 24-hour pump/truck stop (diesel and petrol).

Fox Glacier village:
Fox Glacier Motors Ltd is open—8 am–6.30 pm in summer; 8 am-6.00 pm in winter; 7 days a week. 24-hour fuel available year round.

Mobile phone coverage
There is mobile phone (cell phone) coverage in Franz Josef and Fox Glacier villages for all the major providers. After Fox Glacier there is no coverage until you get to Hawea.

Internet & WiFi
Franz Josef village:
Wi-Fi is offered at most cafes/restaurants in town, provided you buy something first.
For internet, Scott Base (in the same building as Skydive Franz) has three computers available, and internet is paid for and accessed via Global Gossip cards. Scott Base opening hours are 9 am–6 pm.

Fox Glacier village:
Wi-Fi is offered at most cafes/restaurants in town, provided you buy something first.
Wi-Fi is offered at the petrol station, Fox Glacier Motors.

Grocery shops/supermarkets
Franz Josef village:
Four Square Supermarket is open 7:45 am–8:30 pm, 7 days a week (summer hours) and 7:45am – 8pm 7 days a week (winter hours)
Address: 24 State Highway 6, Franz Josef 7856
Telephone: 03 752 0177

Fox Glacier village:
Fox Glacier Store is open daily from 8.00 am–8.00 pm.
Address: 40 Main Road, Fox Glacier
Telephone: 03 751 0829

Dial 111

Whataroa:               03 753 4172
Franz Josef Glacier 03 752 0700
Fox Glacier             03 751 0836
Regular consultations at Fox Glacier & Franz Josef Glacier.  After hours instructions are on the answerphone.

Police Station
Franz Josef Police
Po Box 49, Main Road, Franz Josef Glacier
03 752 0044

Postal Agencies
Franz Josef Glacier – Glacier Motors Ltd, Main Road
Fox Glacier – Fox Glacier Guiding Building, Main Road
Whataroa – White Heron Store & Tearooms, Main Road.

Money Services
An ATM machine is available in Franz Josef outside the Take Note Bookshop.
At Fox Glacier there is an ATM machine in the Fox Glacier Store
Eftpos and credit cards are accepted for most services.

Foreign Exchange
Franz Josef Glacier – Fern Grove Souvenirs, Main Road
Fox Glacier – Fox Glacier Guiding Building, Main Road

Motorhome /campervan waste disposal (dump) stations
Hokitika Public Dump Station, Kaihinu, West Coast
Franz Josef Top 10 Holiday Park, Franz Josef
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef
Fox Glacier Campervan Park, Fox Glacier
Fox Glacier Holiday Park & Motels, Fox Glacier,
Haast Public Dump Stations and Toilets, Haast
More info: See Dept of Conservation Dumpsite Brochure

Five local churches hold regular Catholic or Anglican services. Check locally for service times.
More information here

Lions Club of South Westland
Meet first Thursday of each month at Harihari Motor Inn.
Enquiries (03) 752 0725


Glacier Country Climate

Weather in Glacier Country is spectacular with its sudden and intense contrasts. When it rains it ‘fair buckets down’. Average rainfall is 4700mm falling on about 178 rain days. However, there are many clear, sunny days with an average of 1860 sunshine hours annually, more than in many other regions in New Zealand. Late summer and mid winter are particularly noted for milder than average South Island temperatures and high sunshine hours.

Temperature range
Summer days 10-21 degrees Celsius
Winter days 2-12 degrees Celsius

Daylight hours
Longest day 5.30am – 10.00pm
Shortest day 7.30am – 5.30pm

Weather forecasts
Telephone 0900 999 03 (within New Zealand only) or check out Met Service website

Safe Driving

To ensure your comfort and safety while travelling, be aware of the following signs and road rules you will need to obey:

Keep Left
Always drive on the left side of the road. Be especially careful when pulling out from driveways, rest areas and car parks.

Speed Limit
The maximum open road speed limit is 100 kilometres per hour. Speed limits through towns and cities vary and you must obey all signposted speed limits. Note and obey any special speed limits in place for road works or other road restrictions.

Give Way (yield)
Slow down, be ready to stop and give way (“yield”) to all traffic.

Stop completely, yield to all traffic and proceed only when all traffic is clear.

One Lane Bridge
When approaching a one-lane bridge, take note of the signs. A red circle shows you must give way to other vehicles. A blue rectangle shows that other vehicles should give way to you.

Safety Belts
All passengers within a vehicle must wear safety belts at all times, by law. Approved child restraints are required for small children.

Railway Crossings
Some railway crossings are controlled with barrier arms, but many in rural areas, while signposted, may have no controls. You must always check both ways for trains before crossing.

Watch out for livestock/ animals on rural roads. Follow any instructions from the farm workers. Be prepared for wandering livestock and check your speed.

Road Conditions
New Zealand roads are generally of a good standard, although once outside the cities they are mostly single lane roads so make sure you keep left at all times. There are also many unsealed (gravel) roads which require special driving skills – ensure you slow down on these roads.

There are many roads which can be covered with ice and snow. Slow down and drive carefully – DO NOT brake suddenly.

See DriveSafe NZ website for more helpful information on New Zealand road rules and etiquette and suggested itineraries. has been developed to help visitors to New Zealand safely enjoy their self-drive holiday.




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