Moving time  one hour 14 minutes

Time  one hour 36 minutes

Coordinates 1084

Uploaded February 13, 2018

Recorded February 2018

  • Rating

  • Information

  • Easy to follow

  • Scenery

972 f
717 f
3.87 mi

Viewed 738 times, downloaded 45 times

near Franz Josef, West Coast (New Zealand)

Show original
The area of ​​the Franz Joseph Glacier suffered, like the rest of Westland, the effects of a tropical cyclone the previous week, which caused serious damage to important infrastructures, such as Highway 6 or different secondary routes. However, unlike in the case of the Fox glacier, the damage did not affect the Franz Joseph glacier too much, which allowed us to visit it.
The so imperial name of the glacier was imposed by the Austrian explorer Julius Haast, in honor of the emperor of his country, but the Maoris knew him as Ka Roimata or Hine Hukatere, by the Maori legend that attributes its origin to the tears shed by a young girl who lost his lover when falling from one of the peaks.
There is nothing, that we have perceived at least, in the path of access to the viewpoint at the end of the glacier, which may pose a risk of falling with similar result, but the ice of the glacier is highly fragmented, with a large number of cracks, what to walk on the ice without a qualified guide accompanying it is a high risk. So all that remains is to see the glacier from a helicopter, nothing cheap but with incredible views of the ice field of origin, or settle for the access path.
It is possible to arrive by car, there is a parking lot that is filled soon, until the origin of the path leading to the viewpoint, but it is also possible to access the path by another path that comes from the village, although it represents a walk of about 1 hour to the going, and the same for the return.
The access path crosses initially a subtropical forest, to later follow the edge, or lateral moraine, of the channel by which now circulates a river fed by the water of numerous cascades, and the own glacier. Several dozen years ago, the glacier reached here, but like the great majority of glaciers, it has been reduced in size due to progressive warming and other factors. The Sentinel Rock is an excellent viewpoint on this part of the riverbed.
Altogether, this path is relatively easy to travel (although care should be taken with possible abrupt floods of the water level in the river or its tributaries, since the path goes down to the river level in several points) and the landscape is beautiful. Glaciers are one of the favorite destinations for tourists visiting New Zealand, and what we have seen justifies it. Nowhere else on the planet are there glaciers that arrive so close to the ocean at similar latitudes. So, if you go to New Zealand, go see it: it's worth it.


  • Photo of manuelruizapatero

    manuelruizapatero Feb 13, 2018

    Impresionante glaciar muy cerca del mar y con flora tropical.... Paseo precioso, hacer pronto pues luego se llena.

  • javeadeverano Oct 23, 2018

    Impresionantes paisajes

  • luis.perecruz Nov 30, 2018

    Impresionantes fotos y muy buena descripción

You can or this trail