Media release from Franz Josef Glacier Guides
November 7 2014
Franz Josef Glacier Guides number one choice for backpackers
Franz Josef Glacier Guides has been voted the number one visitor attraction in New Zealand at this year’s TNT Golden Backpack Awards.
The TNT Golden Backpack Awards are the original and most well-established awards dedicated to the independent travel sector, rewarding companies which work hard to make backpacking around Australia and New Zealand that extra bit special.
Following a ten-week campaign in TNT magazine and online, backpackers voted Franz Josef Glacier Guides the ‘Best Visitor Attraction – New Zealand’, after around 20,000 votes were received.
Sales & Marketing Manager Kerry Myers said the company was “absolutely delighted” with the award win.
Established in 1990, Franz Josef Glacier Guides is an internationally-renowned tourism operator, offering guided tours to one of New Zealand’s most incredible glaciers. Tours have recently been enhanced by using helicopters to transport visitors to the glacier.
Trips start with a heli-ride from the South Island’s West Coast township of Franz Josef, taking visitors up to the glacier for guided hikes or ice-climbing on a pristine and breath-taking glacial landscape.
“What makes this award win even more special is that it’s derived from public votes,” said Ms Myers. “It demonstrates that we have a world-class activity which backpackers know is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and pays testament to the skill and experience of our guides on the ice.”
Franz Josef Glacier is located high in the Southern Alps and deep into the lush rainforest of Westland’s National Park. The glacier stands 2,700m above sea level at its highest point, runs down to 240m and is 11km long, making it the world’s steepest and fastest-flowing commercially-guided glacier.
As well as the fun and interaction on the ice, visitors can enjoy the dramatic and dynamic scenery with a Glacier Valley Walk, running alongside the mighty Waiho River bed.
Another huge drawcard for Franz Josef Glacier Guides’ visitors is a free pass to the Glacier Hot Pools in the township. It’s a perfect way to relax after a day on the ice, set amongst stunning rainforest and enjoyed all year round until 9pm.
The glacier is currently in its biggest state of change since records begin, making it a unique and dynamic environment.
“For the majority of visitors the glacier is the single biggest reason they go to the stunning West Coast, and now couldn’t be a better time to visitor the glacier to see it in its most spectacular glory,” said Ms Myers.
“Temperatures on or around the ice are only ever a couple of degrees cooler than the township, so conditions are superb all year round.”
Along with a well-embedded safety culture and hugely-experienced guides, Franz Josef Glacier Guides also boasts the ‘’quality stamp of tourism’ with a Qualmark licence, Enviro Gold rating, as well as Telarc New Zealand safety management certification and adventure tourism audited.
A full range of accommodation choices in Franz Josef township include everything from backpacker hostels to five-star hotels, making a trip to the glacier an attractive option for backpackers and all ages.