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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 with Franz Josef Wilderness Tours. Join a mirror-lake Kayak Tour, Scenic Boat Tour or a Fishing Charter.  The best of Franz Josef Glacier is at your fingertips…

Top rated Kayak adventures & Paddleboard tours on Lake Mapourika & the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. Relax and enjoy the moment with free photographs included with each tour.

Personalised eco boat tours with Dale (the owner and operator), boasting 15+ years of guiding expertise in the region. Enjoy Lake Mapourika and it's surrounds in comfort in our fully covered tour boat.

Experience Franz Josef Glacier’s only fishing charter adventures!  Fish Lake Mapourika for Brown Trout and wild Salmon.  For a true kiwi experience, book the BBQ fishing tour to make an evening of it. 


Add a thrill to your West Coast NZ kayak tour, boat tour or fishing charter. A first-hand exploration of the glacier by foot, helicopter flight or quad bike is an experience you will never forget.


Book & combine a Glacier Heli-hike with any of our tours and save 15% on your Kayak Tours, Boat Tour or Fishing Charter! This is the ultimate way to experience all..

Scenic Flight Combo

Book any of our Kayak Tours, Boat Tours or Fishing Charters and combine with a Scenic Helicopter Flight of your choice!

Quad Bike Combo

Combine our tours with a Quad Bike adventure and save 10% OFF everything!

This is a unique short time offer so get in fast…


Kayak hire, stand up paddle board hire or mountain bike rentals are available to explore the West Coast’s glacier region at your own pace! Enjoy Lake Mapourika & the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary to the silence of your paddle strokes.  You can even bike to Lake Mapourika, then hire a kayak for a truly eco experience!

Kayak Hire

Hire a kayak or Stand Up Paddleboard to explore the lake at your own pace!
Double sea kayak rental, quality stable paddleboard’s (SUP’s) & more…

Bike Hire

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

SUP Hire

Hire a SUP (Stand-up Paddleboard) and explore the sheltered bays and beaches of Lake Mapourika.  A great option during the summer months.


Experiencing a magical mirror lake is simply a must-do while you’re on the West Coast.  Our kayak adventures have been one of Franz Josef Glacier’s top rated activities for many years.  Book a morning tour for perfectly serene rainforest and mirror lake reflections boasting panoramic views of many Glaciers and the West Coast of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.  

Franz Josef Wilderness Tours (formerly Glacier Country Kayaks) also offer scenic boat tours and salmon or trout Fishing Charters.  Tour options include guided rainforest walks through the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary.  This stunning part of Franz Josef lies within the Westland Tai Poutini National Park and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Our passionate and knowledgeable guides will show you the glacier region from new perspectives, teaching conservation from first hand experiences within the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary and further afield in the National Park.  We promise to deliver an engaging tour experience you won’t forget! We’ll snap high quality pictures 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 hire if you’d prefer to strike out on your own.

Are you keen on a fishing tour?  Lake Mapourika is renowned for brown trout and salmon fishing — join us for a fishing 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 kayak tour or a relaxing scenic cruise in our comfortable, fully covered tour 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 salmon or trout fishing spot on the South Island’s West Coast.  Sea-run salmon swim up the Okarito river into Lake Mapourika annually. You can even book a Fishing Tour with a BBQ 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, boat tours and fishing charters 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 adventures or eco boat tours on the West Coast.  We strive to minimise our impact on the planet to preserve the natural beauty of our pristine waterways and the glacier region. Franz Josef Wilderness Tours is the only safety audited kayaking company on the West Coast of the South Island – so rest assured you’re in really good hands with our small team of skilled and knowledgeable guides.