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Welcome to

Franz Josef
Wilderness Tours

Kayak, Cruise or Fish with us on Lake Mapourika. Locally owned and operated in Franz Josef Glacier, NZ
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Explore beyond the Glaciers in Franz Josef. Join a mirror-lake Kayak Tour, Scenic Boat Cruise or Fishing Charter with a backdrop of the Southern Alps and Glaciers.

Guided Kayak & Paddleboard tours with a backdrop of the Southern Alps & Glaciers. Free photos included with each tour so you can relax and enjoy the moment.
Personalized boat eco-cruises with owner & operator Dale. Fully covered and custom built comfortable tour boat to provide a unique cruise experience.
Fish for Brown Trout and wild salmon on the calm scenic water of Lake Mapourika.
Book a BBQ tour to make an evening of it, a true kiwi experience.


An added thrill for your West Coast kayak or cruise trip. A first-hand exploration of the glacier by foot, helicopter or quad bike is an experience you will never forget.


Combine a Heli-hike with any of our tours and save 15% on your lake experience with us! This is the ultimate way to experience all..

Scenic Flight Combo

Book any of our tours: Paddle Tours, Cruises or Fishing Tours and combine them with a Scenic Flight of your choice!

Quad Bike Combo

Combine with a Quad Bike tour and save 10% OFF both your activities! This is a unique short time offer so get in…


Hire a kayak, paddleboard or mountain bike to explore the West Coast’s scenic trails at your own pace! Enjoy scenic trails and breathtaking natural beauty at every turn.

Kayak Hire

Hire a kayak or Stand Up Paddleboard and explore the lake at your own pace!
Double sea kayak rental

Bike Hire

If you’re keen to explore Glacier Country by bike we’ve got you covered. Rent one of our high-quality 18 speed, hard tail mountain ..

SUP Hire

Hire a SUP and explore the sheltered bays and beaches of Lake Mapourika.  Hourly Stand Up Paddleboard Rentals are available.


Taking in the Franz Josef Glacier region by kayak while gliding over the beautiful Lake Mapourika is a must-do while you’re on the West Coast. Perfectly serene rainforest and mirror lake reflections with panoramic views of the glaciers and southern alps, this is the perfect way to take in the area and its history.

Franz Josef Wilderness Tours also offer scenic Boat Cruises and Fishing Tours, as well as guided rainforest walks of the stunning Franz Josef area and Westland Tai Poutini National Park. At the back of the lake is the Rowi Kiwi Sanctuary, home to New Zealand’s rarest kiwi bird.

Our knowledgeable guides will show you the glacier region from new perspectives, while you learn all about conservation of the Rowi Kiwi Sanctuary and the region, on an engaging tour experience you won’t forget!

We’ll snap pics of you along the way so you can focus on enjoying the scenery.  These are sent out FREE to all our guests after each trip. We also offer kayak rentals if you’d prefer to strike out on your own.

Fan of fishing? Lake Mapourika’s calm reflective waters are home to brown trout and salmon — join us on a charter! As previous guests have raved: “It truly is one of the best things to do in Franz Josef!” It’s no wonder this region is classed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage site! Let’s explore our slice of paradise together…

TripAdvisor Reviews

We took the morning tour and it was fantastic. The waters were calm and the morning clouds were lifting. Laura and Reiss were our guides. They were informative, personable and informed. They talked about current conservation objectives and provided a safe and fun environment. My partner and I are seniors and had no problem keeping up. There were adequate rest periods and beautiful views.

Simi, New York, USA

This was a great way to spend a few hours in an idyllic setting. Our guide Johnny was excellent – so friendly and full of knowledge about our surroundings. Highly recommended, thanks!

Gary, Liverpool UK

I cannot recommend this enough! I’ve now done it twice in 3 years and both times it was spectacular, both in terms of scenery and overall experience. Our guide was fun and knowledgeable and was taking candid snaps all throughout the trip that we had access to later on. I highly recommend the morning trip, as that’s when the water is like glass and it feels so serene gliding over it. It truly is one of the best experiences in Franz Josef.

Hourikhat, Sydney, Australia


One of the best Things to Do
in Franz Josef Glacier…

Did you know we’ve been rated the #1 Franz Josef Tour on TripAdvisor for the last 7 years? There’s a tour for everyone whether you’re into a mirror-lake kayak adventure or a relaxing scenic boat ride in our comfortable, fully covered boat.

View the wildlife up close on any trip, including the majestic White Heron (Kotuku) which visit the lake year round.  On a clear day, enjoy views as far as Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman from the Lake.

kayak on Lake Mapourika with mirror reflections

Lake Mapourika is a renowned fishing destination on the South Island. Enjoy freshwater fishing on your own, or with your mates! You can even book a Fish & BBQ trip to make an evening of it! Since the early 1900s, travellers have marvelled at the beauty of the Franz Josef Glacier as well as many other Glaciers from Lake Mapourika.

Kayak tours and boat tours and fishing trips being the perfect way to take in this slice of heaven. Today, Franz Josef Wilderness Tours is the only Department of Conservation approved operator on Lake Mapourika.

We love what we do: taking visitors on the most stunning Kayak or Boat tours on the West Coast, while minimising our impact on the planet to preserve the natural beauty of the lake – and our pristine glacier region. Franz Josef Wilderness Tours is the only safety audited kayaking company on the West Coast of the South Island – rest assured you’re in really good hands with our small team of skilled and knowledgeable guides.