Experience Franz Josef Glacier

Discounts are available on some activities by booking directly at Bella Vista Franz Josef reception. Please contact us to find out more.

Explore from the Mountains to the Sea

To make your experience of New Zealand’s Glacier Country complete, you must experience South Westland which is sandwiched between the highest of mountains and stunning coastal scenery with abundant rain forest and absolutely everything in between. Franz Josef Glacier is an adventure playground that is ready to explore.

You can take a visit to the white heron colony or the world’s rarest kiwi. Ōkārito Lagoon New Zealand’s largest estuarine lagoon is a 20-minute drive north. It is well known for its walks and coastal birdlife, including the white heron (kōtuku).

Franz Josef Glacier village is the ideal place to pause for a day or two as it provides a diverse range of activities including scenic flights, shopping, massage, soaking in the Hot Pools, visiting the Kiwi bird, carving your own jewellery along with more adventurous activities.

Click here for more information on Franz Josef restaurants and bars and local services.

What will your day bring you?

There are many activities and tours designed for all age groups and physical abilities. All aim to give you the best Glacier experience possible. The most popular is an ICE TREK with the Glacier Guides. Want to keep your feet on solid ground but still find out about the glacier from an experienced guide? Glacier Valley Eco Tours provide GUIDED VALLY WALKS.

Treat yourself to a SPECTACULAR PLANE OR HELICOPTER FLIGHT. The helicopter journeys start at around $260 pp for a 20 minute experience that includes a snow landing.

To experience something other than the Glacier whilst here take a trip to Lake Mapourika with Glacier Country Tours and Kayaks. These PADDLING TOURS head out daily. No previous experience necessary.  There are also boat / fishing tours available on Lake Mapourika.

A very popular activity is a trip down the river bed with Across Country Quad Bikes.  The two seated QUAD BIKES are easy to drive, and no previous experience is needed.  Cover a variety of terrains, including river beds, the native bush and of course, a muddy track or two!

If you need to WARM UP AFTER A DAY ON THE ICE – or just want to sit back and relax while the rest of your group is off exploring; it’s hard to walk past the GLACIER HOT POOLS. With three main pools nestled amongst the rain forest, some secluded private pools and an EXCELLENT MASSAGE FACILITY, they offer everyone a little bit of luxury!

As for just ENJOYING THE GLACIER COUNTRY AT YOUR OWN PACE there are many walking tracks which offer stunning views. We are very lucky in this region to have STUNNING BIRDLIFE. Okarito Nature Tours operate boat trips up the Lagoon on a daily basis. The White Heron Sanctuary Tours include a short jet boat ride followed by an easy walk to the only view point in NZ where these majestic birds nest. On a nice evening check out Okarito Kiwi Tours. Visit the Kiwi Sanctuary to view the kiwi in their own home.

Visit www.glaciercountry.co.nz for the full range of activities available at the New Zealand Glaciers.

It is well worth taking the time to explore the region.  A two or three night stay will reward with a wonderful up close and personal experience.

We have more information coming for activities but for now check out our region’s tourism web site.  www.glaciercountry.co.nz  Here you will find;


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