Franz Josef/Waiau has a resident population of 441 people (2013 census) who mainly service in-excess of 1 million tourists who pass through the town each year. The world famous Franz Josef Glacier is located 5 kilometres from the township in the Waiho River Valley and guided walks and helicopter flights are available all year round to view this spectacular spectacle.
The town accommodates over 3,000 tourists per night in the busy season in the many hotels, motels and other accommodation outlets available and offers a wide variety of cafés and restaurants.
The Glacier Region has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage Area status in recognition of its outstanding ecological value. Close by are the mirror like Lake Matheson and Lake Mapourika which offer tranquil kayak trips, superb trout and salmon fishing(in Lake Mapourika) and beautiful scenery.
There are also plenty of activities available for the more adventurous with skydiving, quad biking and horse trekking operating in the area while the helicopter pads are located right in the town providing flights to the top of and walks on the Glacier itself.
The newest tourist facility in the town is the hot pools which have been recently opened and are proving to be very popular.
View the Franz Josef Community Website.
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