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Things to do

Westland Tai Poutini National Park

Westland Tai Poutini National Park is a landscape of dramatic contrasts. The Park extends from the
highest glacier clad peaks of the Southern Alps, through native rainforest to pristine wetlands and the
wild beaches of the West Coast. It is one of the last remaining places in the world that includes complete mountains-to-the-sea landscapes.

Westland National Park forms part of Te Wāhipounamu South West New Zealand, a UNESCO World
Heritage Area recognised for its outstanding universal values. The habitats of the National Park are home to some of New Zealand’s rarest wildlife.

Visit the Department of Conservation Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre in Franz Josef to find out more including details about the best walking and hiking tracks.

A short scenic drive* from Franz Josef, a tour of the Okarito lagoon and rainforest waterways transports visitors to a place untouched by the passage of time.

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Air Safaris will take you on an unforgettable 50 minute (allow 1 hour) scenic flight tour of the awe inspiring Aoraki Mount Cook and Westland World Heritage Parks – over 200 kilometres of New Zealand’s most stunning alpine scenery.

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Enjoy a breathtaking guided glacier walk onto the world famous Fox Glacier with New Zealand's most experienced glacier guiding company. Fox Glacier Guiding offer walks and ice adventures to suit all fitness levels.

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Kayak, Cruise or Fish on Lake Mapourika only minutes from Franz Josef Glacier.  Join the crew for a unique mirror lake adventure! Enjoy panoramic views of the Southern Alps and Glaciers, rainforest-clad streams of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary and excellent trout or salmon fishing.

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Glacier Valley Eco Tours provide many informative guided nature tours in Glacier Country. Their tours are especially designed for clients who want to learn about the wonders of this incredible natural environment.

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Okarito Kayaks is a small family owned kayak business offering freedom rental and guided kayaking trips on the Okarito Lagoon.

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Westland Wonderland movie and the Alpine Adventure Centre theatre

James Scott and Videographer Dean Trolle have combined to create the most amazing and stunning videography of South Westland.

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The Visitor Centre provides high quality visitor information and is your gateway to exploring Westland Tai Poutini National Park and beyond.

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The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gem of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers. Franz Josef Glacier Guides offers a range of glacier hiking tours to suit all levels of fitness and ability. 

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A gradual climb on a historical tramping track through ancient podocarp forest provides panoramic views of Aoraki /Mount Cook. If you’re lucky, you can enjoy the mountain landscape reflected in Lake Gault.

Duration: 3-5hr return
Distance: 8km return
Intensity: Intermediate
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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
Gradient: Undulating

Duration: 1 hr 30 min
Distance: 2.6 km loop
Intensity: Easiest: Easy access short walk
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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.

 

Duration: 25 min return
Distance: 1.1 km return via same track
Intensity: Easiest: Short walk
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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.

Duration: 5 hr 20 min
Distance: 11 km - 12.3 km return via same track
Intensity: Advanced: Tramping track
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Things to do

Westland Tai Poutini National Park