What to Do in Franz Josef in Bad Weather
Yep, Franz Josef gets a whole lotta rain! While it makes the West Coast forests around all the more luxuriant, it can be a little bit of a pain when you want to do a heli-hike, helicopter tour or skydiving. Nevertheless, if you do get caught in Franz Josef under the rain, there are still plenty of awesome activities to be done! We’ll give you some inspiration with this list of things to do in Franz Josef on a rainy day.
1. See Kiwi Birds at the West Coast Wildlife Centre
Get out of the rain at this indoor attraction in Franz Josef town. The West Coast Wildlife Centre is the South Islands largest kiwi hatching facility, helping in the conservation of some of the rarest species of kiwi, like the Rowi kiwi. See kiwi birds in the nocturnal kiwi house or get a “backstage pass” to learn more about the behind-the-scenery of the hatchery and possibly see kiwi chicks. The centre also has an interactive glacier exhibition.
Location: Cowan Street.
2. Blast Through River Valleys on a Quad Bike Tour
Yes, this is an outdoors activity in Franz Josef which is more epic in the rain! Explore glacial valleys, riverbeds and rainforest left in the wake of the Franz Josef Glacier on an exciting ATV tour with Across Country Quad Bikes. This 2-hour tour has you off-roading on all sorts of terrain, made all the muddier in the rain. No experience is required, as you’ll get driving tips and practice laps with your guide before setting out on this thrilling journey. Compare this quad bike tour to others in our 10 Places to Quad Bike in New Zealand for Adventure Junkies.
Location: 30 Main Road
3. Go Fishing on Lake Mapourika
Fishing is always better in the rain, right? Join a local skipper on Lake Mapourika for excellent brown trout and salmon fishing. Glacier Country Kayaks offers fishing charters in their boat kitted up for all weather scenarios. No previous experience is needed and the team will sort out all the logistics like a fishing license and gear. Just sit back and enjoy a relaxing day on the lake with hot drinks available and great fishing to be had!
Location: Glacier Country Kayaks base, 64 Cron Street
4. Treat Yourself to Some Great Eats
Warm yourself up with a hot coffee or a hearty meal at one of the town’s awesome restaurants. Try New Zealand craft beer and Asian street food at the Snakebite Brewery, authentically Kiwi food at The Gourmet Hangi Kitchen, and all-you-eat pizza nights at the Monsoon Bar!
Location: Franz Josef town.
5. Relax at the Glacier Hot Pools
Relax, unwind and keep warm at the fabulous Glacier Hot Pools. Nestled in surroundings inspired by nature, from local rainforest to riverbed rocks, the hot pools provide a stunning environment. Choose from varying temperatures in the three main pools or treat yourself to a private pool.
Location: 63 Cron Street
6. Carve Your Own Greenstone
Carving greenstone, locally known as pounamu, is an integral part of Maori tradition. Make yourself a meaningful souvenir to take home by carving your own greenstone at the Te Koha Gallery. Either carve greenstone found on the West Coast or choose one of the other New Zealand stones like Aotea Stone (Kyanite), Rhodonite (Pink Stone) or Tangiwai (NZ Bowenite). Get inspiration for your designs with The Greenstone Pendant Meanings.
Location: 10 Main Road
7. Binge Watch New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year
Ok, so this is a bit of shameless self-promotion here, but did you know that the team from NZPocketGuide.com did 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand? Get some New Zealand bucket list inspiration for the next leg of your trip by watching some of our awesome episodes on YouTube!