West Coast region

Visiting Franz Josef Glacier.

Franz Josef Glacier, November 2013

Map highlighting the West Coast region.

The Franz Josef Glacier (Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere) offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience a dynamic glacial environment, in a temperate environment, while being within easy driving and walking distance from the main highway. 

In the last ice age the glacier extended in a huge ice-sheet to beyond the present coastline. Although today’s glacier has retreated considerably, echoes of it’s frozen past are still apparent in the present landscape. The terminal face of the glacier is less than 300 metres above sea level and is just one of three to be this close to the coastline.


Franz Josef Glacier is located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast, 5 kilometres from Franz Josef township.

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Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for West Coast places


Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 752 0796
Address:   13 State Highway 6
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Email:   westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
Franz Josef Glacier Base
Phone:      +64 3 752 0796
Email:   westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details