Why You Need to Visit Franz Josef Village

Updated August 11, 2020.

Have you ever been somewhere that truly surprised you, and pleasantly so? Somewhere you wish you could have spent more time exploring, or perhaps somewhere you’re already planning to visit again? For Steve and me, Franz Josef Village is one of those places! Even under overcast skies, it was beautiful. Imagine it on a sunny day! Here are some of the reasons we think YOU should put Franz Josef Village on your “must go” list for your trip to New Zealand!

1. To Hike on a Glacier

How many places in the world can you hike on a glacier? Only a few! Until you see a glacier up-close and personal, you can’t really imagine that perfect, one-of-a-kind shade of blue. You can take an epic helicopter ride to Franz Josef Glacier and hike with a knowledgeable guide—cramp-ons included! Unfortunately, we did not give ourselves time for this activity, but here’s a a picture from Alaska in 2007 for a sneak peek at what it’s like to hike on a glacier!

Hiking on a glacier!
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2. To Learn a Thing or Two about Glaciers

Having grown up in the American South, I did not have much contact with glaciers. Franz Josef Glacier in particular was once much larger than it is now, and at one time it was growing 70 centimeters per day! In 2008 it started retreating, but recently it has started advancing again! I had no idea glaciers were so volatile. I can’t wait to visit again and see how it changes between now and then!

Made it to the Glacier Viewing Area!
More here: Road Tripping New Zeland’s South Island

3. For the Natural Beauty

New Zealand is one of the most strikingly beautiful countries I have ever visited, and Franz Josef is a big reason why! Even in winter the lanscape is lush and green. And yet there are also areas of other-worldly landscapes with sheer rock faces boasting tall and stunning waterfalls. Everywhere we looked, we were amazed by the natural beauty that earned the country its slogan, “Pure New Zealand.”

Waterfall on the Franz Josef Glacier Hike
Just a regular walk through the woods!
More here: New Zealand’s Striking Scenery

4. For the Hot Pools

This is something else we didn’t leave ourselves time for, but wish we had and will do next time! After days of hiking, a soak in the hot pools will definitely be the right thing to do! To find out more, check out their website!

Need to know: What to Know Before You Visit New Zealand

5. Because It’s a Hiker’s Paradise

This is the main reason why Steve and I want to go back to Franz Josef Village ASAP! It is an absolute haven for hikers of any level. There are beautiful hikes all around, ranging from a 30 minute return trip to a full 8-hour return! We hiked to the Franz Josef Glacier viewing point with several dozen others, and the next morning we hiked to Callery Gorge  and had it all to ourselves the whole time!

My Love!
The Bridge to Nowhere
Callery Gorge
Glacier Blue Waters!
More here: The Ultimate List of Hiking Tips

Are you ready to plan your own trip to Franz Josef? We recommend it!

Find out everything you need to know and more on my New Zealand Page!

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One response to “Why You Need to Visit Franz Josef Village”

  1. […] Spend your morning exploring a couple of hikes around the village. You will be delighted  to find hikes for all levels, and ranging in return times of 30 minutes to 8 hours! One of our favorites was the Callery Gorge Hike. The whole hike goes through beautiful green forest and ends up at a bridge over the most incredibly blue glacier water you’ve ever seen! Don’t forget to take a look at Why You Need to Visit Franz Josef Village! […]

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