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Lake Matheson Fox Glacier
Jody Direen
Lake Gault
Clearwater Bridge Lake Matheson


Tales from Glacier Country

Jody Direen is a Tui Award winning International Recording Artist. Originally from Wanaka, she shares why she chooses to call Franz Josef Glacier home.   There is more than meets the eye in Franz Josef… Read more
Lake Gault is a gem that rivals nearby Lake Matheson. There are incredible sweeping views of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman and on a good day these will be reflected in the waters of Lake… Read more
Fox Glacier has some amazing family friendly walks catering to families of all abilities and ages. Look no further as we have compiled a list of the best family friendly walks in the beautiful South… Read more
Franz Josef Glacier holds a great selection of amazing family friendly walks!  There’s a walk to keep everyone entertained including children of all ages.   Look no further as we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the… Read more
Looking to plan a family holiday to beat the crowds this summer?  Glacier Country has so much to do and see from freshwater lakes, remote beaches, birds, mountains and rainforests.  Come and play.    Okarito… Read more
Craving solitude? Then a visit to New Zealand’s least populated region is the solution. The West Coast covers an area of 23,000 km² and has about 32,000 residents – that’s only 1.39 people per square… Read more
There are so many reasons to love a rainy day but we’ve narrowed it down to the top ten. Don’t let wet weather get you down, be inspired by the list below to learn to… Read more
A marriage proposal done right! The glacier region provides the perfect backdrop for romantic proposals by adventurers and nature lovers. Top tips for the ultimate marriage proposal: Choose your special spot – on a glacier,… Read more
How’s this for a workplace view? 🤩The staff at ReflectioNZ Gifts and Gallery love their stunning views of the mighty Southern Alps including NZ’s highest mountains Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman ⛰ 🏔 Located at… Read more
Travelling on a budget but still want privacy? Backpacker accommodation options these days are a far cry from what they used to be and you can choose private motel rooms as an alternative to dorm… Read more
Here’s the perfect place for people-watching or helicopter-spotting in Glacier Country 🚁 The Speights Landing Bar and Restaurant is located in the main street of Franz Josef Glacier village and just across the road from… Read more
Would you like to stay here for the weekend? 🏔🏠 At only $35 per night per person it’s a pretty good deal…but only for those prepared for extreme alpine environments❄️❄️❄️ Pioneer Hut, above Fox Glacier,… Read more
The Blue Ice Restaurant has long been a hot spot in Franz Josef Glacier for its lively upstairs bar and fine dining downstairs, but one of its most identifying features is their courtesy car –… Read more
Feel like getting away from it all? Even just for half a day? Why not head for the beach at Ōkārito, it’s only 25 minutes’ drive from Franz Josef Glacier and there are several walking… Read more
Westwood is one of only a few small boutique lodges in the glacier region. Each of their nine rooms has individual NZ artwork and the property also boasts art-worthy views. One of the most popular… Read more
Did you know the YHA in Franz Josef Glacier has one of the largest solar power systems on the West Coast and they’re carbon neutral? 🌱 It’s not just in Franz Josef however, the entire… Read more
Looking for a unique place to stay in Glacier Country? How appealing is this Deluxe Tree Lodge at Franz Josef’s Rainforest Retreat? These modern, luxurious lodges are privately nestled amongst lush rainforest so guests feel… Read more
This glacier ice was once fallen snow that melted by day, froze by night and was compressed by more snow and turned into ice. At first the ice was full of trapped air bubbles and… Read more
Glow worms glow to attract small insects, they then capture the insects with silk threads and sticky droplets so the glow worm can feed on them. There are lots of places to view glow worms… Read more
This Royal Spoonbill was photographed during a White Heron Sanctuary Tour in Whataroa. This bird’s unusual bill has vibration detectors inside so it can detect prey in murky water or darkness, and when prey is… Read more
Mornings and late afternoons are the prime time to explore the glassy waters of stunning Lake Mapourika. This picturesque lake near Franz Josef Glacier is surrounded by lush native rain forest, borders a kiwi sanctuary… Read more
Not much? Well at Franz Josef Montrose there’s a lot that comes free with every stay. The hostel offers free breakfast, hot beverages, movie hire, popcorn, unlimited WiFi, on-site parking, BBQ facilities, a spa pool… Read more
Maori lived in South Westland many hundreds of years before European settlers arrived. They lived mostly along the coast in places where food gathering was good but travelled up and down the coast searching the… Read more
Wine goes with dinner, like, wine with dinner – and you know you’ve made a great choice of restaurants when the owners pay as much attention to the wine as they do the food. Cherry… Read more
Congratulations to Skydive Franz Josef Glacier, the latest of only a few Glacier Country Tourism members to achieve Qualmark Gold🥇 A Gold Sustainable Tourism Award is the highest standard achievable and identifies those businesses leading the… Read more
A small Okarito business is walking the talk with their approach to conservation and protecting wild spaces. Paula and Swade from Okarito Boat Eco Tours operate their business with an extremely light footprint and love… Read more
To have a successful restaurant isn’t a piece of cake, it takes dedication and passion for food which Snakebite’s staff have in abundance. Snakebite co-owner and baker Billy Whiteman says they’ve tried to tick as… Read more
What’s better than star gazing? Star gazing from your own private spa pool on the deck of a deluxe tree house of course. There’s no nicer way to end a hard day travelling than relaxing… Read more
Remote living has its advantages and life in Fox Glacier is remote living at its best. Distinction Hotel General Manager Christian Scheule loves living in the stunning alpine environment for multiple reasons. “I have no… Read more
Franz Josef is a mecca for birds, with the iconic rowi or Okarito brown kiwi only found here. But with a combination of wetlands, coastal forest, farmland and alpine forest all within a short distance,… Read more
Rafting Season for 2018/19 Has Begun   There’s something about heading into the wild outdoors with no roads, no cars, just the water, rainforest and a paddle to get you back to civilisation.   Eco… Read more
The 2018/19 Breeding Season for White Herons Has Begun Everyone loves whitebait, even the birds. The White Heron/Kotuku nesting season has begun, coinciding with the start of the whitebait season. Established in 1987 White Heron… Read more
Glacier Country Kayaks One of Glacier Country’s must-do activities is kayaking on Lake Mapourika. This lake has spectacular views of the Southern Alps and the surface is often like a mirror, making for stunning reflections. With… Read more
It’s not all about outdoor activities in Glacier Country, here you can also enjoy luxury spa treatments at Amaia Spa. Amaia is located within the five-star Te Waonui Hotel in Franz Josef and as you’d… Read more
It’s not ‘just a job’ when you get to take people to stunning environments like the top of Southern Alps. HeliServices.NZ is a company with strong family connections to the region and they aim to… Read more
Going big has its benefits. Air Safaris has the biggest, and newest scenic aircraft on the West Coast which means their passengers get incredible views, longer flight time and low noise impact in the National… Read more
I catch up with local Skydiver Henry Morgan & talk about jumping out of planes for a living… Where do you work: “Skydive Franz.  Our office is on the main street Franz Josef, and the… Read more
 The Alice May Restaurant & Bar in Franz Josef Glacier The Blue Ice Cafe in Franz Josef Glacier King Tiger Eastern Eating House & Bar in Franz Josef Glacier   Snake Bite Brewery, Franz Josef… Read more
 Where do you work?  “Te Koha Gallery, Main Rd SH6, Franz Josef Glacier.” What goes on there?  “At Te Koha we have a  wide selection of Jade, Bone and Wood carving on display for purchase,… Read more
Here in Glacier Country, Winter is a special time for us.  It’s quieter, but by no means less beautiful. In fact, the weather is more stable for longer periods of time; there are often no… Read more
I talk to Iain Graham about his dog Rein, saving a species and the unconventional combination of dogs & kiwis. Where do you work?:  “I have a great balance of 60/40 in the field and… Read more
Dusty, NZ’s most endangered kiwi,  featured on the cover of last month’s edition of New Zealand Geographic. The rowi kiwi, found only in the forest near Okarito, South Westland, is the most endangered of the… Read more