Once you have explored the mesmerising splendour of Christchurch in South Island, you must travel to Franz Josef to soak in the beauty of the world-famous Franz Josef glacier. A sight like no other, tourists can choose between hiking or taking a magnificent aerial view of this icy glacier. Besides the glacier, the town of Franz Josef has a lot more in store for vacationers with rainforests and a myriad of intriguing wildlife.
This road-trip guide helps you make your journey from Christchurch to Franz Josef indicating the best stop-overs at the finest attractions for one glorious ride.
Going from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass
Drive onward from Christchurch, for roughly 148 km, to explore the beauty of the mountains via Arthur’s Pass. The 3-hour drive culminates at the pass where you can enjoy a lovely hike. Dotted with some grand national parks, this region presents excellent skiing opportunities, along with trekking for adventure lovers. Not for the faint hearted, this skiing adventure brings scores of enthusiasts to Arthur’s Pass each year. The Arthur’s Pass National Park is known for tall peaks and sharp ravines that are entwined with stunning rivers. Children can join parents for a quaint nature trail with fauna spotting to have a grand time.
Onward to Greymouth
After a brief adventure at Arthur’s Pass, you can drive on to arrive at Greymouth. Approximately 95 km away from Arthur’s Pass, the road is framed with striking views of the mountains, lush terrain and occasional glimpses of the Waimakariri river. Greymouth has a rich past of jade hunting and gold mining for an exciting visit. Have a go at river rafting, which can be an idyllic precursor to a tour of the Franz Josef glacier. Greymouth also has quite a reputation for being stunningly lovely at night. You can taste the local brews and lend an ear to the mystical west coast tales.
The drive should take no longer than an hour and thirty minutes, leaving you with plenty of time to have a brilliant adventure before you move on to the last leg of your day-trip to the captivating Franz Josef glacier.
Travellers usually take a car rental at Christchurch and drive on to Franz Josef the same day to make the most out of this road trip and its interesting stop-overs. It can be a brilliant journey for people who are open to exploring some pretty sights with a well-planned itinerary.