Things to do
Unguided Walks & Hikes
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.
Follow the Callery Gorge Walk as it climbs to a high terrace before descending to the Callery River.
A short climb with rewarding views of the glacier, mountains and river flats.
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.
This short, easy forest walk passes by a reflective lake and crosses over glacial landforms – it’s suitable for children.
Follow a rocky riverbed path, suitable for children, past a waterfall to Franz Josef Glacier viewing area.
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.
Lake Mapourika is famous for its reflections and stunning views and is a top spot for boating, fishing, kayaking, camping and swimming.
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
This short, easy walk leads through a lush rimu forest to the idyllic Lake Wombat – it’s a good option for children.
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.
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.
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.
Pakihi Walk climbs through kamahi and rimu forest to a platform lookout.
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.
Enjoy the reflective views of the glacier valley and mountains on this short, easy walk to a small kettle lake – it’s a great option with children.
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.
Enjoy impressive views of the glacier, the valley and Waiho River from the summit of this short steady climb.
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.
Walk or cycle through bush from Franz Josef township to the Franz Josef Glacier car park.
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.
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.