Franz Josef

Franz Josef is a small community on the west coast that takes its name from the Glacier which is several kilometres off the main highway .
Franz as it is so commonly refered to has a small promenarde of shops , cafes and venders for flights around the southern alps in either Helicopters and planes.
There is an information centre that has regular lectures on the local geology and glaciers and is very recommended .
There is a camp site which has very comfortable rooms which are ideal after a long day walking to and from the glacier.

A view of the mountains leading upto Franz Josef glacier  
Franz Josef is an ideal base to visit other places such as Okarito ,Fox and Lake Matheson .In the Franz area there are a number of short walks that you can take which lead across gorges and up mountains .
There is a long swing bridge that is a challenge for those who do not have a head for heights .
As well as doing the walks you can take a flight over Mount Cook and into the Glacier vallies .
The area itself is very picturesques and there are lots of opportunities for the artist to get numerous sketches and paintings done .
The weather in the area can be a bit unpredictable and the cloud can come down shrouding the mountain tops .