7 Things to Do in Franz Josef on a Rainy Day
7 Things to Do in Franz Josef on a Rainy Day

10 Things to Do in Franz Josef on a Rainy Day ☂️ [2023]

© NZPocketGuide.com

All-Weather and Indoor Activities in Franz Josef – Perfect for a Rainy Day!

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 skydive. 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.

For when the weather clears up, be sure to have the 10 Epic Things to Do in Franz Josef at the ready.

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 Island’s 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-scenes of the hatchery and possibly see kiwi chicks. The centre also has an interactive glacier exhibition. Find out more about West Coast Wildlife Centre on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, this is one of the 10 Things to Do in Franz Josef with Kids.

Location: Cowan Street.

West Coast Wildlife Centre© West Coast Wildlife Centre

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. Check out Viator or Tripadvisor for more details on Across Country Quad Bikes. Additionally, you might like to compare this quad bike tour to others in our 10 Places to Quad Bike in New Zealand for Adventure Junkies and check out more activities that are awesome for couples in 8 Romantic Activities in Franz Josef for Couples.

Location: 30 Main Road.

Across Country Quad Bikes© Across Country Quad Bikes

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. Franz Josef Wilderness Tours 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! Find out more about Franz Josef Wilderness Tours on Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: Franz Josef Wilderness Tours’ base, 63 Cron Street.

© Franz Josef Wilderness Tours

4. Treat Yourself to an Extended Lunch or Dinner

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, classic New Zealand homemade cuisine at the historic Alice May, and all-you-eat pizza nights at the Monsoon Bar! See more restaurant recommendations in The Honeymoon Guide to Franz Josef and The Travel Guide to Franz Josef on a Budget.

Location: Snakebite Brewery – 28 Main Road. Alice May – 30 Cron Street. Monsoon Bar – 46 Cron Street.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

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. See more lavish experiences like this in the 8 Luxury Activities in Franz Josef.

Location: 63 Cron Street.

7 Things to Do in Franz Josef on a Rainy Day© NZPocketGuide.com

6. Cruise Around Lake Mapourika

Another one from Franz Josef Wilderness Tours, their two-hour Lake Mapourika cruise has you cruising on vividly reflective waters. The small-group boat tour makes for a relaxing way to explore the lake on a rainy day, especially with the undercover cabin and hot beverages onboard. Find out more about this cruise on Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: Franz Josef Wilderness Tours’ base, 63 Cron Street.

7 Things to Do in Franz Josef on a Rainy Day© Franz Josef Wilderness Tours

7. Warm-Up in the Waiho Hot Tubs

Enjoy an indulgent private hot pool experience with Waiho Hot Tubs. Hidden among the dense Franz Josef, wood-fired hot tubs are there for you to enjoy for an hour’s soaking session. Bring your own nibbles and drinks and choose to add Epsom salts or lavender hydrosol to your pool. It’s certainly one of the more relaxing things to do in Franz Josef on a rainy day.

Location: 64B Cron Street.

7 Things to Do in Franz Josef on a Rainy Day© NZPocketGuide.com

8. 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.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

9. Enjoy a Wet Walk to the Franz Josef Glacier Terminal Face

You can still get a glimpse of the Franz Josef Glacier even when it’s raining and all of the helicopter tours are cancelled, so toughen up, put on that rain jacket, and head out. Either walk the trail independently on the Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere Walk as one of the free things to do in Franz Josef or enrich the experience further by taking a 3-hour guided hike through the valley with Glacier Valley Eco Tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or Franz Josef Glacier Guides (on Viator, Tripadvisor and KKday).

Location: Glacier Access Road, 5km (3 miles) from Franz Josef just south of the Waiho River Bridge.

7 Things to Do in Franz Josef on a Rainy Day© Unsplash

10. Binge-Watch 365 Days, 365 Activities in New Zealand

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!

More Things to Do in Franz Josef

That’s it for our list of things to do in Franz Josef on a rainy day. For more activity inspiration, check out the following guides:


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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