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Franz Josef Town

Outdoor Activities

Our most recommended Franz Josef Town Outdoor Activities

Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

1. Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

Gear up for an incredible, three-hour guided kayaking experience. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Glide effortlessly across the water, taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Tours depart at various times throughout the day. Mornings are often the calmest time of the day on the lake, a perfect choice for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience not to be missed during your visit to Franz Josef.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

2. Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

Begin your adventure at the meeting point in Franz Josef to join your small group and transfer out to Lake Mapourika with your guide. Cruise across the lake in the comfort of the boat and enjoy a stunning vista of Southern Alps and glaciers. On a clear day enjoy views as far as Mount Cook.   Sit back as you arrive into the calm estuary of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. Your local knowledgeable skipper will provide you with exclusive access and will guide you through a private rainforest trail.   Follow your skipper through the Jurassic rainforest track and get local insight on the region. Spot native birds as you find your way to the scenic lookout, the perfect spot for a cup or tea or coffee made on the spot.

Greymouth: Glacier, Heritage & Wildlife Centre Guided Tour

3. Greymouth: Glacier, Heritage & Wildlife Centre Guided Tour

Departing from Greymouth, you will enjoy a scenic drive South, following the coastline with ocean views before heading inland to reach your destination of Franz Josef. On the way you will stop at West Coast Tree Top Walkway, an exhilarating Treetop Adventure among temperate rain forest giants. Experience life with the birds, high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform 20 metres high and over 450 metres long. Climb the tower to reach great views for photography of the surrounding lake and mountain range. Next stop is calling into Ross Goldfields Information & Heritage Centre, a one-stop spot for gold mining history and regional information. The centre boasts a small museum where a replica of NZ’s largest gold nugget The Hon Roddy resides. This was uncovered at Ross in 1909. Please note the information centre is not always open and accessible. Reaching the township of Franz Josef, a popular tourist hot spot with thousands visiting the town to view the famous Franz Josef Glacier. Walk up to the glacier along a marked track called the Valley Walk, following the river bed. The trek will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes return. Allowing you to view the Glacier from a distance for safety. On your return to Franz Josef, you will visit the Wildlife Centre. Home to two of New Zealand’s native birds, the Rowi Kiwi and the Tuatara, the centre also hosts an interactive exhibit on the glacier so you can learn more about the history of the area. There is also a souvenir gift shop and cafe onsite. In Franz Josef there will be free time to buy lunch and look around the town before heading to Okarito, the gem of South Westland. Ōkārito is a small coastal settlement on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It is built at the southern end of the Ōkārito Lagoon at the mouth of the Ōkārito River. Boosting native New Zealand bird life and strong history of gold and timber. Visit the information heritage centre on the wharf to take in the lagoon and learn more about the wild history of Okarito. From here you will return back to Greymouth. PLEASE NOTE: It is important that you contact us first before booking if only one person as the tour requires two people for it to operate and we may not have a second person booked on at the time of your booking which would incur an additional per person fee. Please contact us directly to ensure tour is proceeding for the date you have chosen if a single person.

Franz Josef: Franz Josef Glacier Lookout Guided Walk

4. Franz Josef: Franz Josef Glacier Lookout Guided Walk

Enjoy a relaxing small-group walking tour in the glacier valley to view the Franz Josef Glacier with an experienced local guide where you will learn about glaciers and the local nature, history, local stories & Maori legends. Get picked up from your accommodation and drive to the glacier carpark to begin your guided tour. Stroll through the tepid rainforest full of creeks, beautiful flora, fauna, and native trees. Discover hidden gems such as native snails, mushrooms, orchids, and birds, waterfalls & glowworms. During the walk, enjoy a cup of tea with a view, listen to the songs of the forest birds & chat with your guide.

Fox Glacier: Half Day Walking & Nature Tour with Local Guide

5. Fox Glacier: Half Day Walking & Nature Tour with Local Guide

Walk through the lush historic glaciated rainforest in Westland Tai Poutini National Park, spotting the huge rata, rimu trees and moss. During the walk your guide will provide informative commentary on glaciation, geothermology geology, flora and fauna. Dip your hand into a geothermal spring to feel nature up close. Take in the views of upper Fox Glacier, Fox Neve, and Mount Tasman, one of New Zealand's highest mountains. Due to the location, you won't get up close to the terminal face of the glacier, this walk is predominantly focused on the stunning nature in the Fox Glacier Valley.  Upon completion of the walk, your guide will drop you back to your accommodation.

Franz Josef: Kayak & Walking Tour to Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary

6. Franz Josef: Kayak & Walking Tour to Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary

Enjoy a scenic kayaking tour across Lake Mapourika and onto the ancient soils of the protected Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Head out onto the water and take in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Discover a prehistoric rainforest, abundant birdlife, and the home of the rarest Kiwi on the planet. Throughout your tour, enjoy complimentary tea and coffee. Enjoy multiple fantastic photo opportunities, and have your guide take complimentary photos of you as you paddle and hike to the sanctuary.

Franz Josef: Half-Day Guided Tour to Okarito

7. Franz Josef: Half-Day Guided Tour to Okarito

Get off the beaten track and explore one of New Zealand's hidden gems on this half-day tour. Learn about the history of the old gold mining township of Okarito from your knowledgeable guide. Start your adventure in Franz Josef Township, where you will meet your guide and the rest of your group before departing on a 25-minute drive down the highway to reach Okarito. You will then head out on a walk to admire the stunning landscapes. Take in spectacular views of the mountains and glaciers of New Zealand's West Coast and take pictures as you go.  Experience unique bird & wildlife sightings throughout the tour, and if you're lucky you may get a chance to see dolphins. Your guide will do their best to tailor this walk to your interests. If you like photography, there is an opportunity to stop at the world-renowned Andris Apse photography gallery.

Frequently asked questions about Franz Josef Town Outdoor Activities

What are other things to do than Outdoor Activities that are worth visiting in Franz Josef Town?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Franz Josef Town

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What people are saying about Franz Josef Town

The cruise was nice and perfectly relaxing. Looking back the alpine background as you paddle towards the peninsula gives a unique tranquility base. The guide is very knowlegeable about the wildlife and the environment. I would not have appreciated a lot of local knowledge and fieldcraft survival if she did not show us. The guide looked after not only our comfort and safety but also in making sure the whole trip was recorded in digital photo without a charge. It very unique experience worth the time and the price.

Tour guide David was fantastic. Very knowledgeable and took us to locations off the main track for some amazing sights.

Great hike. A lot bush walking which we thoroughly enjoyed. Guide was very knowledge able and informative.

The best kayaking I've done, the weather was amazing, our guide was very informative

A wonderful morning with a great guide - well worthwhile!