Things to do in Westland District

Our most recommended things to do in Westland District

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

1. Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

Explore the ancient icefalls of the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers on a 30-minute helicopter flight. Experience the thrill of a snow landing with spectacular photo opportunities, and create unforgettable memories. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers provides stunning ice architecture and are two of the few glaciers in the world which exist in such close proximity to both an ocean and a rainforest. Make your way to a central location in Franz Josef township, where you will check in for your flight. Strap yourself in to your seat and prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime ride, soaring above the pristine scenery for spectacular aerial views of the glaciers. Listen to engaging inflight commentary from your experienced pilot and admire the stunning frozen landscape below through the panoramic windows. Midway through the flight, your helicopter hovers above the ice and snow before making a thrilling snow landing at the summit of one of the glaciers. Step out onto the breathtaking, frozen landscape to soak in the views and capture some incredible photos. Then return to the helicopter for the flight back to base.

Fox Glacier: Up to 3 Hours Hike with Helicopter Transfer

2. Fox Glacier: Up to 3 Hours Hike with Helicopter Transfer

Enjoy a thrilling hiking and helicopter experience on Fox Glacier. Marvel at dramatic landscapes from above, including spectacular ice caves, icefalls and Victoria Falls, which is the melted river from the hidden Victoria glacier. Land on the ice in a remote part of the glacier. Get fitted with crampons that are specially designed for icy conditions. Follow the ice steps cut by your guide as you explore the amazing formations and ice caves. Each departure is a truly unique experience as there are so many changing features. Depending on the weather, spend up to 3 hours on the ice before boarding your helicopter to return to the take off point.

Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

3. Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

Cruise farther and see more on this 1.5-hour Queenstown scenic cruise. Sit back, relax and enjoy spectacular views of the Remarkables, Bob’s Cove, Cecil Peak and Mt. Earnslaw from the comfort of the Spirit of Queenstown – an environmentally friendly and luxurious cruise boat. Take in panoramic views from the open top deck. Enjoy refreshments, snacks and lunch served in the café on board. Cruise across spectacular Lake Wakatipu as you enjoy entertaining commentary provided by the local skipper.

Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

4. Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

Journey into the Southern Alps for this once in a lifetime helicopter flight over the Fox Glacier. Begin your adventure at the helicopter base in Fox Glacier Township, where you will be greeted by your expert team. As you take off in your helicopter, be amazed by the panoramic views over the town and surrounding landscapes before heading towards the Fox Glacier. As you draw closer to the picturesque mountains, fly over dramatic ice falls and deep crevasses before you descend for a snow landing. Here you will have an opportunity to take in your surroundings, breathe in the clean alpine air and take photos in this winter wonderland. When you are finished, join your pilot in the return flight back to the Fox Glacier Township.

Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

5. Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

See two of New Zealand’s biggest glaciers — the Franz Josef and Fox or Tasman glaciers with uninterrupted views from a helicopter. Fly amongst the Southern Alps, admiring the ice pinnacles and canyons whilst learning about the awesome spectacle from your professional guide. After you check-in and have a safety briefing, you will be transferred to a private hanger, where you will meet your pilot and guide and board the helicopter. You will be provided headsets in order to hear your guide’s commentary. You will have the opportunity to stop and explore by foot at an elevated snow landing site for 15 minutes, perfect for taking photos.

Franz Josef: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Glacier Landing

6. Franz Josef: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Glacier Landing

Lift off from a heli-base in Franz Josef and explore the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers from above on a scenic helicopter tour. Experience this natural phenomenon up close as you land on a glacier and walk through the snow. Meet your pilot and guide at the helicopter base and receive a brief introduction before boarding your flight and setting out on your adventure. Watch the ground disappear beneath you as you climb higher and enjoy the view as the city below turns into wilderness. Take in the vistas of the Southern Alps and marvel at the vastness of 2 of New Zealand's largest glaciers while enjoying informative commentary provided by your pilot. Then, get ready to experience this unique scenery up close as your helicopter prepares for a snow landing. Stand on the ancient ice of the glacier, breathe in the clean alpine air, and feel the seclusion of this awe-inspiring landscape. Hop back aboard your helicopter and enjoy more panoramic views on your return journey to the base. Throughout your flight, you'll also fly over the Tasman Glacier on the eastern side of the Southern Alps and past Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak.

Hokitika: West Coast Treetop Walkway Entrance Ticket

7. Hokitika: West Coast Treetop Walkway Entrance Ticket

Experience an exhilarating treetop adventure among temperate rainforest giants at the Hokitika West Coast Treetop Walkway. Begin the adventure when you arrive at the Treetops Cafe. Embark on a 5-minute walk through the beautiful Rainforest that will lead you to the start of the treetop walk (a shuttle is available for people with impaired mobility). There is easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform that is 20 meters high and over 450 meters long. Then, enjoy a 45-minute and 1-hour stroll through the amazing West Coast Rainforest Tree Tops, listening to the birds and taking in incredible views. For the more adventurous travelers, opt to climb up to the top of the Hokitika Tower that will take you 40 meters above the forest floor. Be inspired by the sensational views over majestic snow-capped mountains, ancient rainforest and the Tasman Sea. Finish your experience back at Treetops cafe where they have a variety of delicious refreshments for purchase.

Fox Glacier: Half Day Walking & Nature Tour with Local Guide

8. Fox Glacier: Half Day Walking & Nature Tour with Local Guide

Walk through the lush historic glaciated rainforest in Westland Tai Poutini National Park, spotting the huge rata, rimu trees and moss. During the walk your guide will provide informative commentary on glaciation, geothermology geology, flora and fauna. Dip your hand into a geothermal spring to feel nature up close. Take in the views of upper Fox Glacier, Fox Neve, and Mount Tasman, one of New Zealand's highest mountains. Due to the location, you won't get up close to the terminal face of the glacier, this walk is predominantly focused on the stunning nature in the Fox Glacier Valley.  Upon completion of the walk, your guide will drop you back to your accommodation.

Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

9. Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

Gear up for an incredible, three-hour guided kayaking experience. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Glide effortlessly across the water, taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Tours depart at various times throughout the day. Mornings are often the calmest time of the day on the lake, a perfect choice for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience not to be missed during your visit to Franz Josef.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

10. Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

Soak up panoramic views of the Southern Alps and glaciers reflecting on the mirror-like waters of Lake Mapourika on this 2-hour scenic cruise. The lake was created by the Franz Josef Glacier as it retreated 14,000 years ago and now sits calm and reflective between the Southern Alps and the sea. Meet your experienced skipper and small group at the office in Franz Josef and take a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Board the boat, then sit back and relax onboard the Hanna-k in the comfortable enclosed cabin or on the covered back deck. Your skipper will take you through to the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary on the far shorelines of the lake and will help you spot New Zealand's native birds. Enjoy informative commentary and fascinating stories as you cruise past untouched Jurassic rainforest and 900-year-old Kahikatea trees. Sip on a cup of complimentary tea or coffee as you unwind in beautiful Glacier Country, a picture perfect way to escape the crowds and enjoy the West Coast’s scenery.

Other Sightseeing Options in Westland District

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What people are saying about Westland District

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 410 reviews

My partner and I enjoyed the trip even though it was raining and we didn't get to see the reflections on the lake. Our tour guide Dale [donkey] was full knowledge about history. Well worth doing for sure

Loved the smooth ride! The views were stunning. Our pilot was able to point out mountain features and help us understand where we were in the range.

An amazing experience. Felt very safe the whole time. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Beautiful ancient podocarp forest. Pleasant lake ride. Interesting commentary.

Excellent heli ride. Everything was smooth and the folks there were friendly