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Franz Josef is the perfect place to spend a few days to either rest during your busy holiday or enjoy some of the many activities on offer, including helicopter flights, free bush walks, glow worms, and great restaurants. Make sure you allow enough time.

The Terrace is built in the centre of town at the start of a no exit street meaning there is no through traffic so you can relax and enjoy the peaceful environment. The Motel gets its name from the lower river terrace that it is built on. There are further river terraces covered in rainforest that can be accessed by Department of Conservation walking tracks 50 meters from the motel. These provide ideal short walks that you can enjoy directly from your accommodation without the need to drive to the starting point.

The town of Franz Josef is carved out of the subtropical rainforest at the base of the Southern Alps, which include Mount Cook and Mount Tasman (New Zealand’s two highest peaks). The Town gets its name from the nearby Glacier named after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria by the explorer, Julius von Haast in 1865. While the Glacier and the snow fields above it provide plenty of activities, including scenic helicopter flights and the famous heli hike, beautiful walks and photo opportunities, the area has far more to offer than just the Glacier so make sure you allow enough time in this wonderful region. We offer discounts for stays of 2 nights or longer so you will have more time to either just relax on your holiday and unwind or take in the wonderful Glacier hot pools, kayak on the famous lakes and lagoons nearby or walk up Alex knob, a full day walk giving fantastic views into the snow fields. There are numerous other walks including ones offering free glow worm caves nearby – please see the activities page for more details on the wonderful walks on offer.

Attractions Include:

  • New Zealand’s highest skydive
  • Helicopter Flights over the Glaciers to Fox and Franz or Mount Cook
  • Walking up the Glacier valley to view the majestic Franz Josef Glacier
  • Heli-Hike on the Glacier
  • Glacier Hot pools in a rainforest setting
  • Free Glowworm caves
  • White Heron Sanctuary Tours
  • Scenic Rain Forest Tours
  • Guided Fishing Trips
  • Ice Explorer
  • Guided walks on the Glacier
  • Kayak on Lake Mapourika or the Okarito Lagoon
  • Quad Bike tours
  • Horse riding
  • Many fine restaurants catering for all budgets
  • Carve your own greenstone jewelry

For more information on activities in the area please visit our Activities page, which provides information on guided tours, quad tours, helicopter tour and so fourth.

The town of Franz Josef, offers a small supermarket, petrol station and numerous restaurants. However the main reason people visit is for the numerous activities, forest walks and just to sit back and take time to relax from their busy lives, perhaps even soak in the Glacier Hot Pools.