Franz Josef Glacier

FJ Glacier Maori name: Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere Length: 12 km

The glacier area is one of the main tourist attractions of the West Coast, with around 250,000 visitors a year and up to 2,700 per day (in 2007). Guided and unguided walks up to and onto the glacier are possible however since April 2012 all glacier walks require a helicopter flight past the unstable terminal face, glacier walks require some specialised equipment, namely ice axes and crampons that latch onto a sturdy boot.

We noted that since we were last here 7 years ago, not only the amount of tourists has risen but also the safety precautions, you can’t go anywhere near the glacier anymore, viewing points beeing out of reach at about 500 m at both glaciers. The experience was great and even in rainy weather a must have with all the waterfalls that come down at the steep hillsides.