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Fun Facts about Franz Josef Glacier


Franz Josef Glacier is one of the most popular sights on the West Coast of the South Island. Here are some fun facts about the Glacier.

Did you know that...

The Māori name for the Glacier is Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere which means The tears of Hine Hukatere. The local legend is the Hine Hukatere loved climbing in the mountains and convinced her lover Wawe to join her. Wawe didnt have as much experience climbing mountains as Hine Hukatere and one day an avalanche swept Wawe to his death. Hine Hukatere was left broken-hearted and her tears flowed down the mountain then froze to form the Glacier.

Most Glaciers move at around 50cm per day however Franz Josef Glacier was once recorded to move 4 metres in a day. 

Franz Josef Glacier is currently retreating. In the past 8 years the Glacier has retreated around 800 metres making it just under 11km long. The Glacier is also 3000 metres in height.

Feel like visiting Franz Josef Glacier now? Te Waonui Forest Retreat is located right in the township of Franz Josef making it the ideal place to base yourself from for Glacier visits!


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