The tourist brochures paint Franz Josef Glacier as this idyllic not to be missed hotspot that ought to be on every traveller’s bucketlist but it is what they are not telling you that is most concerning. If you are planning a trip to New Zealand then you just have to read this article which tells you about Franz Josef Glacier that New Zealand tourism won’t tell you.
One thing you will want to experience when visiting another country is to meet the locals and hear them speak in their own lingo but a large majority of the people you will encounter in Franz Josef Glacier are non-New Zealand citizens, in other words, english is not their native language. Why is this? If you really want to meet real New Zealanders then go out into the provinces where you will experience real Kiwi hospitality. None of the employer’s in Franz Josef will ever admit that they have hired foreigners in preference to New Zealand citizens.
The area has a lot of rainforests which means that it rains a lot on the West Coast and this can affect your holiday in different ways. One is that many of the activities are weather dependent which means that conditions may not be suitable for taking a flight over the glaciers. You will be provided with indoor options but then you never came all this way just to play monopoly. Then there is always the risk of flooding and slips which can occur during late summer when the West Coast gets heavy down pours.
It is not just the wet weather you need to worry about. The risk of an earthquake happening in the region is very real and is overdue.The faultline runs straight through the village and if it ruptured there will be devastation on the same scale as the Christchurch earthquake. A major quake is overdue in the area and experts have said for years that one can occur at any time.
Power cuts are always a possibility in the area with trees being blown on to power lines so expect the unexpected if you are down that way.
As far as the prices for the various activities go, there is a local-rate and a rate that tourists pay and the difference in prices can be huge. The definition of local is someone who resides on the West Coast but you may be required to provide proof of your residential address such as a utility bill.
I am not trying to put you off holidaying in Franz Josef but rather just informing you that if you want to see the real New Zealand then you need to go to less frequented areas where you are more likely to meet the locals.
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