The village of Franz Josef is a lovely little tourist town packed with tourist shops, nice eateries and souvenir shops designed to separate well heeling overseas tourists with their money. The major attraction – the glacier itself is an hours return walk up a forest and alluvial river valley takes one to a view of the terminal face of the glacier seen from some distance – about Half a km
It would be a lovely tranquil visit if it wasn’t for one major blight – helicopters run a constant stream of sightseers up the valley – dropping some in the upper glacier for a guided walk. The sheer number of helicopters is very disturbing – a constant stream heading up the valley on the southern side – returning back on the northern side. Worse than the sandflies in the Nelson lakes – worse than blowflies in Australia!