Hike #5 : Franz Joseph glacier
You want to discover a glacier without risking mountaineering, the Franz Joseph Glacier allows you. Easily accessible and of rare beauty, this glacier is a must see of New Zealand.
About the hike
Although today’s glacier has shrunk considerably, the echoes of its frozen past are still visible in today’s landscape. It is one of three glaciers to be located near the coast.
We did 2 hikes. The first is a short hike of 1h30 round trip. It is a walk that can be done in family and to have a global view of the glacier. As you walk through the rocky valley, you can see waterfalls and the old glacier bed.
But the most interesting is the Robert’s point track. 13Km long and 5h30 (round trip), it will take you closer to the glacier. You will have to cross a majestic forest, multiple suspension bridges and even climb some walls. Moreover on this last point, it is better to go under sunny weather because the rocks are very quickly slippery. In addition, if the rain falls, water currents on the course can take you away. We speak knowingly, having done so in the rain. However, the game is worth the effort because the view at the end of the hike is breathtaking. You will be closer to the glacier.
Level : intermediate to confirmed according to the weather
Duration : 5h30 for Robert’s Point track
Required equipment : Good hiking shoes, sunscreen, hat / cap.
In conclusion, the Franz Joseph Glacier is a must see of New Zealand. Larger than the Fox Glacier, it has one of the most beautiful hikes we have ever made: the Robert’s Point track. If you want a more family-friendly hike, it is also possible for you to get closer to the glacier and enjoy beautiful scenery.
From the village of Franz Josef, head south on the Waiho River Bridge. After the bridge, turn left onto the Franz Josef glacier access road.
Most hiking trails are accessible from the car park at the end of this 4 km road.