This hike through the Westland Rain Forest follows glacier carved granite over hanging bridges and past idyllic ponds before arriving at a platform with breathtaking views of The Franz Josef Glacier. 

This trail is one of my favorite in New Zeanand. It wasn't so much 'built' as it was 'discovered'. The trail follows natural erosion and clean exposed flows of glacier carved granite walkways.

You will enjoy thick, green rainforest, the reflective water of Pete's Pond, and a few long swinging bridges as you traverse the side of the canyon high above Waiho River.

At trail's end you will find a roomy elevated viewing platform with a picnic table from which you can see the majestic Franz Josef Glacier

Give yourself some extra time, this trail is not terribly long, nor steep, but it is rough, rocky and slippery in places.

Pack List

  • The 10 Essentials 
  • Good boots or approach shoes
  • Picnic 
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RT Distance 7.6 Miles
Elevation Gain 1640.4 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Explore Peter's Pool

From the carpark for Franz Josef Glacier, Peter's Pool is signposted to the left near the toilets.

48 Saves

Hike to Franz Josef Glacier

From the carpark take a quick walk through a green, forested area before making your way into the valley. Here you will get your first view of the glacier.

124 Saves

Camp on Alex Knob

From Highway 6 on the New Zealand South Island's west coast, take the Glacier Access Road for 2km to where the signposted Alex Knob track begins. There will be a obvious parking lot on the right.

82 Saves