Franz Josef Glacier Lookout

Point of Interest

4.6 from 3 users.


Follow a rocky riverbed path, suitable for children, past a waterfall to Franz Josef Glacier viewing area. 5.4 km return via same track. Approx time 1 hour and 30 minutes. The first 15 minutes is an easy (fully accessible) forest walk to a river bank view of the glacier. Continuing from the end of the forest walk, follow the markers in the riverbed past Trident Falls to a point close to the terminal face of the glacier. This is not a track but a route over the shingle and rock of the riverbed and it can be quite rough underfoot make sure you have suitable footwear. The final section of track to the safety barriers includes a short climb to the viewing area. Do not go past the barriers and pay attention to all signage as areas of the valley are hazardous and are not safe for visitors. This is a beautiful yet volatile place do not let the serene scene fool you. The glacier is constantly moving. Ice and rock fall from the terminal face without warning. Creeks may rise up to a metre in even moderate rain. Water levels rise in as little as 15 minutes. This track is sometimes closed due to ice collapse, flooding or landslides check the latest track conditions and weather forecasts at the Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre before starting your trip. No dogs. No camping or overnight parking allowed.

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Lat: -43.444579 Lng: 170.172488

User Reviews


Legacy Data

Track closed half way down. Only 30mins return.


Legacy Data

Glacier is a bit disappointing. Track in good condition tho. Oh and a sign from Doc « how to prevent climate change ? » MAYBE you can start to stop the heli flights ? Lots of helicopters, feels like a war is about to start.



Stunning. Great view, the track along the riverbed takes you within 750m of the glacier wall. However you see more of it from a large lookout before the Forest viewing point. Great time of year not a lot of visitors.


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