Franz Josef Glacier is located in the Southern Alps in Franz Josef, a small scenic town on the South Island of New Zealand on the Western side of the Tasman sea which is a dynamic glacial climate. Another nearby glacier is Fox Glacier another one of New Zealand’s many wonders.
I originally booked to go Heli hiking which the only way to safely access the glacier, however weather conditions would not permit on the two days I was there. Franz Josef is one of the rainiest places in the world so it is not uncommon for this to happen, Don’t let that get you down the trek through the valley will not fail to deliver.
You are able to walk the track into the glacier valley independently however I would recommend booking a guide to lead the way, I used Franz Josef Glacier Guides, the guides are so full of knowledge about the history, the legends and glacier facts. During the trek my guide taught me many unexpected non glacier related things and I ate a lot of plants, some peppery and some I thought would go well in a salad if I were trying to impress with exotic ingredients.
Now I have always thought glaciers were pretty fascinating and Franz Josef did not fail to hit the mark as we trekked the forest track to reveal what felt like another world.
The valley itself is pebbled with rocks of varying sizes, I look to my left and I see lush green forest covered mountains then I look to my right and I am presented with a wall of waterfalls. The low lying clouds and the filtration that comes with heavy cloud cover gave the valley an an infectious eerie vibe that made my visit memorable, I remember thinking how perfect the moment was.
It is really hard to imagine the sheer size of the glacier, standing there you know this thing is huge, but just how huge? Well my very informative guide told us that the glacier is 12km long! As I stood in the valley I tried to picture myself as a tiny dot on the glacier as I went through the motions of thinking how fascinating and big our world really is.
The glacier goes through cycles of advance and retreat and what makes me totally stoked is that it is currently in a state of advance =D it is technically a slow moving frozen river! ITS ALIVE! ???? (that tickled my brain)
Did you know?????Franz Josef Glacier and Nearby Fox Glacier flow around 10 times faster than most valley glaciers.
Have you visited Franz Josef Glacier or do you have anything to contribute to the experience?
Let me know below 🙂
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