FRANZ JOSEF – FOX GLACIER – HAAST – WANAKA
Travel distance is approximately 284kms (177 miles).
Allow at least 3.80 hours drive time (not including stops).
If you didn’t get a chance to enjoy the glacier in Franz Josef during your over-night stay – don’t despair as Fox Glacier is your next stop on your journey and is only 30 minutes away from Franz Josef.
The route to Wanaka is an enjoyable, scenic drive with plenty of opportunities to stop for photographs. Don’t be in a rush; this is worth spending the day cruising and finding picturesque spots just off the beaten track!
Some notable stops along the route to Wanaka include:
With the glacier’s terminal face just 5km’s from the township, you can afford to stop and take a look at this stunning glacier.
LAKE MATHESON WALK
A really enjoyable and easy 90 minute walk providing unsurpassed reflective views of Aoraki/Mt Cook, Mt Tasman and the forested lakeshore. The waters of Lake Matheson are dark brown, so on a calm day they create the ideal reflective surface.
SALMON FARM CAFE
Located on the Haast Highway beside the Paringa River, the Salmon Farm and licensed cafe specialises in fresh and smoked salmon products combined with delicious home-style daytime dining.
Just south of Haast is the Jackson Bay fishing village. This is the place to come for spectacular views of the ocean and the Southern Alps. There are some great walks ranging from a 15 minute track to an intensive 2 day hike.
Located just before Wanaka, the lake is a picture perfect shade of deep blue and provides some great landscape photo opportunities. The area is a popular holiday spot for holidaymakers keen to enjoy the great outdoors.
We guarantee that you will enjoy your over-night stay in the alpine village of Lake Wanaka. Friendly and vibrant, Wanaka is an incredibly popular place to visit, especially if you prefer to avoid the huge numbers of tourists and tourism commercialism that many believe is beginning to smother nearby Queenstown.
Considered one of New Zealand’s best all season’s resort, Wanaka is located in the Southern Lakes region of the lower South Island and is nestled on the shores of a stunning clear lake with breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains, including the towering Mount Aspiring.
The township of Wanaka offers a friendly ambience with plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops to satisfy any cravings you may have for city action! There is a multitude of adventure and sports activities on offer, including summer lake activities and top class winter skiing or snowboarding at Treble Cone, Cardrona, Snow Farm, Snow Park and Harris Mountains – all within easy driving distance from the Wanaka township.
Highly recommended Wanaka tourist attractions include…
Puzzling World – This unique attraction is a great ‘any weather’ place for all the family. Along with a great maze, there are plenty of other crazy things to see and do!
Mount Aspiring National Park – This World Heritage park is the third largest park in New Zealand and considered one of the most spectacular pristine wilderness areas anywhere in the world, there is plenty of local scenic walks, regional short walks and longer walks and tramps to suit all levels of fitness and enthusiasm!
Cardrona Hotel – The Cardrona Hotel was established in 1863, making it one of New Zealand’s oldest hotels. Only 20 minutes from Wanaka, this picturesque hotel boasts a renowned bar and restaurant with a unique ambience.
NZ Fighter Pilots Museum – View an amazing collection of airworthy WWII fighter aircraft including a Vampire, Hurricane, Mustang and Polikarpov I-16 & I -153.
Lake Fishing – Fabulous lake fishing is available year round . Lake Wanaka offers an awesome array of angling options from novice to experienced fishermen with an experienced fishing guide.
Skydive Lake Wanaka – If the thought of freefalling at 200kph and can keep your eyes open to enjoy the stunning aerial views of Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring, glaciers and lakes, then a tandem skydive is for you!
Gibbston Valley Wines – This award-winning wine producer boasts an exceptional winery restaurant, wine tours and tasting events for visitors to the Central Otago region. Dine al fresco in the sun-drenched courtyard over summer, or enjoy the warm ambiance inside during winter.
Lord of the Rings Tour – Wanaka Sightseeing is a Qualmark endorsed Visitor Activity and offers New Zealand’s most comprehensive Lord of the Rings Tour. The tour visits 24 locations and includes lunch and lots of weapons from the LOTR movies!
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch