The Franz Josef Glacier offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience a dynamic glacial environment, in a temperate environment, while being within easy driving and walking distance from the main highway. Unlike many glacier parks in the Northern Hemisphere, Franz Josef Glacier stays open for business throughout winter. We’re lucky that winter temperatures in New Zealand are pretty mild in comparison to our northern cousins.
Franz Josef Glacier Guides operate glacier hikes year round. It’s well worth putting on an extra layer and getting out and exploring during wintertime, it’s one of the most spectacular times to visit the glacier. There is something truly spectacular about the sight of the blue glacier set against the backdrop of snow-covered peaks. In winter everything looks crisper and clearer - it’s a breath-taking sight. The glacier is less ‘dusty’ which means there’s less debris on the surface of the glacier, as it’s kept clean by snowfall and cold temperatures.