Things to do
Unguided Walks & Hikes
Lake Mapourika is famous for its reflections and stunning views and is a top spot for boating, fishing, kayaking, camping and swimming.
The Waitangitaona Wetland Walk is an easy walk through a regenerating kahikatea forest and flax wetland to a viewing platform with spectacular views of the Southern Alps, Kā Tiritiri o te Moana.
The walk provides a good introduction to the rainforest of the Glacier Region as well and an opportunity to see glow worms after dark – it’s a great option with children.
Walk or cycle through bush from Fox Glacier township to the Fox Glacier car park.
Walk or cycle through bush from Franz Josef township to the Franz Josef Glacier car park.
The 80-minute walk follows an old 4WD road then the tracks climbs to the old water tunnels. You will need a torch and raincoat to explore the tunnels.
Enjoy this pleasant short walk and get a great view of the glacier and the opportunity to cross a historic suspension bridge.
Enjoy impressive views of the glacier, the valley and Waiho River from the summit of this short steady climb.
The Roberts Point Track requires a good level of fitness. After walking one hour you will reach Hende’s Hut. From there the track continues to climb on to Roberts Point where the glacier views are spectacular.
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 mounted on a stone plinth and can be used to identify the peaks of the Southern Alps Kä Tiritiri o Te Moana.
Pakihi Walk climbs through kamahi and rimu forest to a platform lookout.
The Ōkārito Trig walk initially follows the Ōkārito Wetland Walk and Three Mile Track before branching off to the left after around ten to fifteen minutes walking. The walk winds gently uphill on a well-graded track, before reaching the Ōkārito Trig viewpoint.
North of the Franz Josef Township sits the coastal settlement of Ōkārito and the Ōkārito Lagoon. The lagoon is home to more than 76 species of native birds including the kōtuku/white heron and royal spoonbills.
Mount Fox Route is just 3 km south of the town of Fox Glacier. The challenging climb to the top is only suitable for experienced and properly equipped trampers.
Explore old moraine surfaces on this easy, short walk, south of Fox Glacier township.
This delightful short walk near Fox Glacier village follows a stream through the rainforest – it’s a great introduction to the forest for children with the added bonus of glow worms at night. It’s suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.
This short, easy walk leads through a lush rimu forest to the idyllic Lake Wombat – it’s a good option for children.
A gentle walk leads to views of the mountains reflected on the still waters of Lake Matheson. It’s one of the most popular short walks in New Zealand. Fitness required: Suitable for all fitnesses
A visit to Gillespies Beach offers a scenic drive, lovely views of the Southern Alps Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, an historic cemetery and coastal walks.
Follow a rocky riverbed path, suitable for children, past a waterfall to Franz Josef Glacier viewing area.
After walking for a few minutes, the first view of the glacier will appear. Follow the track down past the landslip zone – do not stop in this area.
This short, easy forest walk passes by a reflective lake and crosses over glacial landforms – it’s suitable for children.
This popular tramp gives a glimpse of Westland’s spectacular forest, river and mountain scenery, with natural hot pools at Welcome Flat an added attraction.
A short climb with rewarding views of the glacier, mountains and river flats.
Follow the Callery Gorge Walk as it climbs to a high terrace before descending to the Callery River.
The Alex Knob Track takes approximately eight hours return and climbs steadily through a variety of vegetation types with views of Franz Josef Glacier, the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. This track is for experienced and well-equipped trampers only.