Breadcrumb
Destination view

Westland Tai Poutini National Park (Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers)

Westland Tai Poutini National Park forms part of Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand World Heritage Area and rightly so, as this park has it all.  Best explored from either Franz Josef or Fox Glacier villages you can encounter a myriad of landscapes here, from fast moving glaciers to the wild West Coast beaches.  From its highest points in the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps you are rewarded with a visual feast encompassing ancient forests, crackling blue glaciers, pristine rivers, lagoons thriving with birds and an immense stretch of untouched coastline.  A unique feature of the park is the proximity of Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers to the sea.  Both terminal faces are just 300 metres above sea level and pass through the surrounding rainforest, making for an unusual combination of environments.  As well as the glaciers, other highlights of Westland National Park are tranquil Lake Matheson and Okarito Lagoon with its teeming bird population.  There are numerous ways to explore the park, each offering a different perspective on this remote wilderness.  The best way to really appreciate the contrasting landscape is to take to the air, the Twin Glacier scenic flight takes you over both glaciers for spectacular views before landing at the head of one glacier for a truly memorable snow landing.  The more adventurous can add in a glacier walk with the Franz Josef Helihike.  For an informative exploration of the glaciers, a guided walk to the Fox Glacier terminal face is fascinating.  With all this wilderness, you can expect the wildlife to be amazing and a tour of the White Heron Sanctuary during breeding season is a real delight for nature lovers.

New Zealand touring ideas

A popular style of touring is to take a preplanned self drive road trip.  After a thorough consultation with you we expertly plan and create your self drive tour around New Zealand allows you the freedom to explore at leisure with the comfort and security of pre-booked activities and accommodations. Route suggestions, GPS and APP guidance plus local support mean you are in safe hands. See self drive ideas here

If you prefer to let someone else do the work then an escorted small group tour or a private guided tour might be for you. Our range of hand picked small group itineraries are ideal if you prefer to travel in the company of like minded people. These tours limit the number of participants which means different accommodation options, exclusive activities and of course a knowledgable guide ensures you get to see the best of New Zealand. See our small group tours here. 

A private guided tour offers true flexibility and the security of a knowledgable local guiding you all the way. Well planned itineraries ensure you see exactly what you want to see but with your own driver-guide you can adapt to suit the day or your preference. 100% tailor-made to suit you a private tour is a great option when travelling as a small group. all our self drive itineraries can be replanned and priced using a private driver and guide. Just contact us to discuss your needs.

All North Island touring ideas - explore the diverse North Island with these itinerary suggestions. See here

All South Island touring ideas - Iconic scenery and landscapes await on this made for touring island. See here

All Nationwide touring ideas - see the best of New Zealand on these all encompassing touring itinerary ideas. See here

Read our blogs on New Zealand travel