Travel between Franz Josef and Fox Glacier

NZ Transport Agency
April 2, 2019

There is currently no direct route between Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier.

The only alternative route between the townships is via Arthur’s Pass and Wanaka, which may take up to 14 hours, depending on conditions.

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State Highway 6

Following torrential rain on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 March, a state of emergency was declared for the West Coast region of the South Island.

Flooding, washouts, slips and high river levels affected roads throughout the region. State Highway 6 between Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers was closed on Tuesday 26 March 2019 after two slips covered the the highway and the Waiho River bridge was washed away, triggered by torrential rain.

Until the bridge is installed and reopened over the Waiho River, vehicles are unable to travel between the two townships.

There is also no cycling route available until the bridge is replaced. A replacement bridge is expected to take 14-17 days to construct, meaning a possible completion date of mid-April. Parts of State Highway 6 and State Highway 73 are reduced to one lane as crews work to clear slips.

Expect roadworks, reduced speeds and stop/go controls in some areas. The only alternative route between the townships is via Arthur’s Pass and Wanaka, which may take up to 14 hours, depending on conditions. See map on the back.

Please be patient and obey all traffic signage and any road crew instructions.

Keep left and pull over (if it is safe to do so) to let traffic pass if you see it backing up behind you.

Stop for regular breaks and be prepared with water, food and other supplies in the car. Have a safe and enjoyable trip!


For the latest road information

Website: www.nzta.govt.nz/sh6-westcoast-repairs

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nztasouthisland

Twitter: twitter.com/NZTACWC

Call: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)