There’s lots to do in Franz Josef in the rain… So if it rains on your parade, dance in it!
Out here on the West Coast of the South Island rain is in our blood. As the saying goes “without the rain there wouldn’t be a rainbow.”
Well, we couldn’t agree more!
With over 200 days of rainfall on average per year in Franz Josef Glacier, it’s great that there’s still so many things to do and see. Beautiful lush rain-forests, spectacular clear glassy lakes and meandering rivers that only exist thanks to our 4 meter annual rainfall.
Visitors to the Franz Josef Glacier are often greeted by rainfall or cloudy days. These days bring to life the dramatic climate and landscape of the South Island’s Wild West Coast.
Luckily, there’s a whole bunch of exciting outdoor and indoor activities to enjoy in Franz Josef Glacier! Look no further, here’s a comprehensive list of activities you can enjoy whatever the weather:
Across Country Quad Bikes
Experience the thrill of riding our unique 2-seater quad bikes or 3-seater buggies through a variety of terrain including Jurassic Rain-forest, Ancient Glacial Riverbed and Grasslands. We have fun in the sun and see spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the famous Franz Josef Glacier. OR, as we like to say, the wetter the better to get down and dirty in the mud and water. Drivers must be at least 16 years old. No experience or drivers license is necessary to join us.
For more information and bookings visit Across Country Quad Bikes
Franz Josef Clay Target Shooting
We offer one of only a few ‘all-weather’ activities in Franz Josef and it’s action-packed! Shoot undercover with total protection from any rain, in a building designed especially for our environment and your shooting experience.
We provide all equipment and our courtesy vehicle will transport you to and from the range. We use real guns with real ammunition, in a safe environment. You will be provided with a score card to keep track of your success!
Tuition is provided by our experienced, qualified and friendly team. Bring a spare layer with you, and wear covered shoes.
This is a great experience for all levels from beginner to the experienced shooter.
Allow up to 2 hours for this activity. Call our free phone on 08002SHOOT (0800-2-74668)
For more information and bookings visit Clay Target Shooting
Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools
Immerse yourself in the pure rain-forest of Franz Josef.
Glacier Hot Pools are nestled in the temperate rainforest of Franz Josef Glacier (Kā Roimata o Hinehukatere). According to the legends of Ngāi Tahu (the local Māori tribe) Hinehukatere’s tears of aroha (love) were frozen by the gods, forming what is known worldwide as the Franz Josef Glacier, or to Ngāi Tahu as Kā Roimata o Hinehukatere – The Frozen Tears of Hinehukatere.
The three invitingly warm main pools (36, 38 & 40 degrees), three secluded private pools and a massage and day spa specialising in couples treatments. All facilities are nestled within lush West Coast rainforest, creating a tranquil space to revive your tinana (body), hinengaro (mind) and wairua (spirit).
The pools are conveniently located in the heart of Franz Josef township at Glacier Base on Cron Street. We also have a licenced café onsite.
Open all year round (excluding Christmas day) from 11am to 9pm (last entry 8pm).
For more information and bookings visit Glacier Hot Pools
Glacier Country Kayaks
Dip your paddle in Lake Mapourika’s pristine glassy water and explore with us on our guided Kayak and Stand-Up Paddleboard Tours. Nestled in the heart of the Westland Tai Poutini National Park you can get up close and personal with the ancient Jurassic Rainforest and Native New Zealand Birds. Paddle through the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary and immerse yourself in the tranquility of native birdsong along the way. Join our guided walk option to stretch your legs and hike through the rainforest on our very own hand carved track. Learn all about the unique habitat that’s home to an array of plant and animals and elusive kiwi birds.
We include FREE photos with all our tours!
For more information and bookings visit Glacier Country Kayaks
Glacier Country Lake Tours
Relax in comfort and take in the panoramic views of the Southern Alps steep misty peaks, as well as the regions oldest untouched rainforest. Offering Scenic Cruises and Fishing Charters, our small personalized tours will take you around Lake Mapourika and also visit the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. Join a Cruise & Walk Tour for access our private rainforest trail, or why not catch tonight’s dinner whilst fishing for Salmon and Brown Trout on Fishing Charter. We have everything you’ll need on board our fully covered vessel including all fishing equipment, BBQ for hire and toilet facilities. Feel free to BYO beverages and enjoy being out on the water in style.
For more information and bookings visit Glacier Country Lake Tours
Glacier Valley Eco Tours
Glacier Valley Eco Tours is a New Zealand owned and operated local family business who specialise in small-group guided walking tours in Glacier Country, West Coast New Zealand. We provide guests with personal, informative and relaxed eco-style tours which walk at your pace, with plenty of opportunities to take photos, stand under waterfalls, hold ice out of the river and treasure hunt for native flowers, birds, mushrooms and wildlife. Stop for a cup of tea with magnificent views and a chat with your experienced guide. Walk off the beaten path in the safety of your knowledgeable NZ ‘Kiwi’ guide. We offer a range of nature tours, from short 2 hour to 12 hour full day options. All our half days tours are suitable for all ages and abilities, including young children.
Please note our trips do not walk onto the ice, but take you off the beaten path where the unguided public are not allowed to go. We still operate if it’s raining,(with the exception of Fox Glacier) as there are amazing waterfalls to see, the valley is free of air traffic and quiet, and you can experience our rainforest in all its glory!
For more information and bookings visit Glacier Valley Eco Tours
Jade Carving and Gem Stones
Carve your own unique piece of New Zealand!
Immerse yourself in a hands-on, authentic, cultural experience and take home your own special piece of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Rain, hail or shine, Mike and Jan Goodall will show you the craftsmanship that goes into producing a taonga/treasure made from NZ’s most prized stone – the pounamu.
Classes are held at a studio located on their West Coast Farm – you can’t get more authentic than that! Cost is $75 per person and a courtesy van is available.
Full tuition is provided and anyone can do it. Take home that one off piece that you will always treasure.
For more information and bookings call 03-752 0279
West Coast Wildlife Center
Meet and discover New Zealand’s rarest kiwi, the rowi, at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef, West Coast, New Zealand.
A partnership with The Department of Conservation & Te Runanga o Makaawhio.
Open from 8am every day of the year, the West Coast Wildlife Centre is a unique and interactive experience that brings together nature, conservation and wildlife all under one roof! Our all-weather attraction is fun for all ages to explore and takes place against the stunning backdrop of the Franz Josef Glacier.
The Kiwi & Tuatara fully guided Backstage Pass Tours are highly recommended. Booking essential.
For more information and bookings visit The West Coast Wildlife Center
Wow, what a list! And there’s more to see and do in Glacier Country than we’ve listed here. Please see Glacier Country New Zealand’s website for more info and start planning your trip NOW!