Franz Josef Glacier

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Franz Josef, New Zealand
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Franz Josef is a glacier on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. In Maori, it is called Kā Roimata-a-Hine Hukatere (the frozen tears of Hine Hukatere). The glacier drops steeply from the Southern Alps to near sea-level, making it among the most accessible glaciers. It descends into Westland National Park at a height of 3,000m above sea level to a distance over 11km, making it one of the steepest glaciers in New Zealand.

The constantly moving glacier has some amazing features such as ice caves, crevasses, seracs and tunnels — which also change constantly. The low-altitude terminal face can actually be reached by doing the Franz Josef Glacier Walk. This is a 1 hour and 30 minute return walk which involves some rought dry riverbed travel and crossing over a few rocks, so moderate fitness and good tramping shoes are required. There are many tour operators in the area who offer other ways of accessing the glacier such as Heli-Hike packages, Scenic Flights with Snow Landing and Heli Ice Climbing packages.

For more information, visit the Glacier Country website.

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