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Glacier Country

Discover New Zealand's most diverse landscape

Glacier Country is a unique area where you can enjoy the freedom to explore New Zealand’s most diverse, unaltered natural landscapes - from the mountains and glaciers to the sea - and to immerse yourself in pure nature.

Location

Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast 7886, New Zealand

The Glacier Country region stretches from Ōkārito and Whataroa in the north through Franz Josef Glacier and on to Fox Glacier in the south. The region provides access to some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in New Zealand including its highest mountains, longest glaciers, tallest forests, wildest rivers, and most rugged coastlines.

The Glacier Country website is a great resource to help plan your trip.

WESTLAND TAI POUTINI NATIONAL PARK

Westland Tai Poutini National Park is at the heart of Glacier Country and is part of Te Wāhipounamu South West New Zealand, a UNESCO World Heritage Area. Its diverse landscape extends from the the Southern Alps, through lush rainforest to pristine wetlands and the wild beaches of the West Coast.

The National Park offers some of the best walking and hiking in New Zealand. It has short, easy trails to spectacular scenic viewpoints suitable for everyone, to half day walks and more challenging full day or multi-day tramping adventures.

Download our guide to the best walks in Glacier Country, check out the Department of Conservation website for comprehensive details about walking and hiking tracks, or visit the Department Conservation Visitor Centre in Franz Josef for more information.

Westland Tai Poutini National Park is one of last remaining places in the world that includes complete mountains-to-the-sea landscapes, and its temperate rainforests are some of the most extensive found anywhere in the world. The National Park’s diverse habitats are home to a variety of endangered species like the rowi kiwi, kea, kotuku white heron and the tawaki Fiordland crested penguin. Rare Hector’s dolphins and fur seals can also be seen along coastline.

Fox Glacier southside Moraine Walk credit Geoff Marks
Moraine Walk south side of Fox Glacier

The National Park is also part of the ambitious Predator Free South Westland project to eliminate invasive predators from 100,000 hectares of land in order to enhance the natural biodiversity of the region, specifically native birds.

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers & Glacier Country

Whataroa

Whataroa is the northern gateway to Glacier Country and South Westland and the best place in New Zealand to see the rare native white heron (Kotuku).

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Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers & Glacier Country

Okarito

Ōkārito Lagoon is New Zealand’s largest unmodified wetland and home to a some of the country’s rarest birdlife.

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Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers & Glacier Country

Fox Glacier

The township of Fox Glacier is just a scenic 30-minute drive south from Franz Josef, and like its neighbour is a great place for a unique glacier experience.

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Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers & Glacier Country

Franz Josef

The small town of Franz Josef is world famous as the gateway to the spectacular Franz Josef Glacier.

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Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers & Glacier Country

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers

Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier are among the most accessible glaciers in the world.

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Plan your trip

Discover and plan your West Coast trip, accommodation and activities, tours, breweries and dining

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