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Franz Josef Montrosejust 4-mnute away from many activitiesGlacier guided walksTake a scenic flightour backpackers lodge is located close to many local attractions


Franz Josef Montrose set in a prime location in the centre of Franz Josef Glacier town. It is the ideal base allowing you to enjoy everything the glacier region has to offer. Just a quick 4-minute walk from all the activities that you may want to experience.

We are 4km from Franz Josef Glacier and 25km north of Fox Glacier. From Christchurch International Airport follow the signs to Arthurs Pass and the West Coast. Travel through Hokitika and you will find us just 120 minutes south of Hokitika on the road down to Haast and Queenstown.

If you are travelling north from Queenstown, then head for Haast and you will find Franz Josef approximately 120 minutes north from Haast — all very well signposted.

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Driving Directions

  • Queenstown to Franz Josef: 5 hours, 352km
  • Haast to Franz Josef: 2 hours, 144km
  • Nelson to Franz Josef: 6 hours, 459km
  • Christchurch to Franz Josef: 5 hours, 379km
  • Greymouth to Franz Josef: 3 hours, 173km
  • Hokitika to Franz Josef: 2 hours, 134km

Franz Josef Glacier Activities

There is so much to see and do at Franz Josef Glacier. To fully experience Glacier Country, you need to immerse yourself in the landscape. It is not until you make footprints on a high alpine snow field, journey deep into the towering rainforests, explore the blue ice caves of the glaciers, tackle a trout on a beautiful lake or contemplate the mountain reflections in Lake Matheson that you will truly encounter our wilderness. Choose from guided glacier walks, kayaking, kiwi encounters, quad biking, off-road buggies, tandem skydiving and white-water rafting. There is also a range of scenic flights (helicopter or fixed wing, with or without snow landings), horse treks, hot pools, kayaking and more. The diverse range of activities in and around Franz Josef Glacier is available all year round.

Use our free Travel Desk to plan you adventures while in Glacier Country and take advantage of the additional discounts that we have sourced for some activities.

We are more than happy to help with making bookings for activities or excursions in the Franz Josef. Please don't hesitate to contact us should you require any further information. 

We recommend the following:

White Heron Tours


Visit New Zealand's only White Heron (Kotuku) nesting colony. See the magnificent Kotuku, Royal Spoonbill, Little Shag and other birdlife, all in their natural environment. We recommend and book White Heron Tours. Send us an email for more information and bookings.

Franz Josef Horse Trekking


Discover the beauty of South Westland on horseback in this horse-riding paradise, with a stunning backdrop of mountain ranges, the Southern Alps and rainforests. We recommend and book South Westland Horse Treks.

Glacier Nature Tours


We recommend and book Glacier Nature Tours for a variety of guided walks and Eco Tours to and around the Franz Josef Glacier. These are personally guided tours with quality guides. Popular tours include walks to the Glacier Terminal Face, Lake Matheson, Okarito and Rainforest Walks.



Kayak with White Herons on Okarito Lagoon, New Zealand's largest unmodified wetland, surrounded by magnificent rain forest. This is a premier eco-experience surrounded by many unseen birds in their natural habitats. Kayak hire is available from two hours and guided trips are also available. We recommend and book Okarito Nature Tours. Don't be disappointed and miss out on a White Heron experience while in Franz Josef.

scenic skydive


This has to be New Zealand's most scenic skydive. Taking off over the rainforest viewing Lake Matheson and coastal views from Hokitika in the North to Haast in the South; climbing to the western faces of Mt Cook with spectacular mountain and glacier views; and then jumping out of a perfectly good plane - sensational. STOP PRESS! The Southern Hemisphere's highest jump now in Franz Josef, 19,000ft!

franz josef heli hike


Take a scenic helicopter or fixed-wing flights to the top of the Franz Josef Glacier and even over Mount Cook, with the options of landing in the snow. With the Fox and Tasman Glaciers on either side the views to Mount Cook and Mount Tasman are unbeatable. We recommend and book all local helicopter and aeroplane operators and we can organize discounts.

Franz Josef guided walks


Explore the Franz Josef Glacier up close and personal with a guided walk. Experience the deep crevasse caverns and hear the grinding ice with the experienced and professional guides. All gear is included. Better still for the ultimate adventure and rated as one of the top three activities that must be done by all visitors to New Zealand. Combine the sensation of a scenic helicopter flight with a Glacier guided walk. We recommend and book Franz Josef Glacier Guides, The Helicopter Line and The Guiding Company. Franz Josef Glacier is very busy in the season.

Glacier Hot Pools


Nestled in lush rainforest, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of natural tranquillity and the perfect way for visitors to unwind and experience a blissful state of pure relaxation.