Walking trails in and around the Franz Josef area, South Island, New Zealand

(c) Gareth Eyres/ Franz Josef Glacier NZ

There are many walks and hikes in and around Franz Josef which we urge you to explore because the views and appreciation of the area will reward you. If you plan to climb Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere Walk you must be prepared beforehand with the correct footwear and grips and seek local advice about conditions that day. Located in Franz Josef village is a Department of Conservation information centre and you can get updates on track conditions and suitability plus you can learn about the area, its natural history and its people.

The information below is provided by the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

Listed below are a selection of short walks but check with the Department of Conservation information centre for weather conditions, track suitability and conditions first.

Douglas Walk

The Douglas Walk is an easy one-hour forest walk that passes by the Peters Pool viewpoint and crosses several moraines before descending to the bridge across Dolly Creek on the way back to the road.
Category: Walking track. Completion Time: 1 hr return

Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere Walk

The 40-minute walk to the terminal face of the Franz Josef Glacier follows a rocky path over riverbed. Only experienced and prepared visitors should attempt climbing on the glacier.
Category: Walking track. Completion Time: 1 hr 30 min return

Lake Wombat Track

The Lake Wombat Track leads you through a lush rimu forest to the idyllic Lake Wombat.
Category: Walking track. Completion Time: 1 hr 30 min

Okarito walking tracks

North of the Franz Josef Township sits the coastal settlement of Okarito and the Okarito Lagoon. The lagoon is home to more than 76 species of native birds including the kōtuku/white heron and royal spoonbills.
Category: Walking track.

Peters Pool Walk

The spectacular view at Peters Pool includes Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere, and the Fritz Range, including Mt Moltke and Mt Roon.
Category: Easy access walk. Completion Time: 25 min

Sentinel Rock Walk

Just a short distance south of the Franz Josef Township you will come to the Glacier and Sentinel Rock walks. The Sentinel Rock Lookout offers impressive views of the glacier, the valley and Waiho River.
Category: Short walk. Completion Time: 20 min

Tatare Tunnels Walk

The 80-minute return Tatare Tunnels Walk follows an old 4WD road to a junction with the Callery/Waiho Walk. From there follow the track to the old water tunnels.
Category: Walking track. Completion Time: 1 hr 20 min return

Terrace Walk

Follow the Terrace Walk as it winds through forest and goes by remnants of past goldmining operations.
Category: Short walk. Completion Time: 30 min

Enjoy the trails and remember your camera! There are loads of places to relax afterwards and enjoy a cuppa with cake.