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Franz Josef Glacier’s TOP Rain Day Activities [2023]

Franz Josef Glacier’s TOP Rain Day Activities [2023]

by | Sep 8, 2023

Here’s Franz Josef Glacier’s TOP Rain day activities all in one spot.  Out here on the West Coast of the South Island rain is in our blood.  As the saying goes “without the rain there wouldn’t be a rainbow.”

Well, we couldn’t agree more!

With over 200 days of rainfall on average per year in Franz Josef Glacier, it’s great that there’s still so many things to do and see.  Beautiful lush rain-forests, spectacular clear glassy lakes and meandering rivers that only exist thanks to our 4 meter annual rainfall.

Visitors to the Franz Josef Glacier are often greeted by rainfall or cloudy days.  These days bring to life the dramatic climate and landscape of the South Island’s Wild West Coast.

Luckily, Franz Josef Glacier’s top rain day activities are a plenty! Here’s a comprehensive list of activities you can enjoy whatever the weather.

Franz Josef Wilderness Tours

Lake Mapourika Rainy Day Kayaking Landscape 

Kayak, cruise or fish with us on the beautiful Lake Mapourika. 

Offering an array of activities that are all available rain or shine, with full wet weather equipment provided and a fully covered tour boat there’s a wet day option for everyone:

Franz Josef Wilderness Tours offer guided kayak and boat tours of the stunning Franz Josef area.  A team knowledgeable guides will show you the region from new perspectives 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. We also offer rentals if you’d prefer to strike out on your own.

Fan of fishing? Lake Mapourika’s calm reflective waters are home to Trout and Salmon — join a charter!

As previous guests have raved: “It truly is one of the best experiences in Franz Josef!”

What about an Off-Road Quad Bike tour?

Franz Josef Wilderness Tours also offer guided off-road quad bike and buggy adventures!  Experience the thrill of riding our unique 2-seater quad bikes or 3-seater buggies through a variety of terrain!  Explore Jurassic rainforest, Ancient Glacial Riverbed and Grasslands.  

Yes – on a clear day we experience magnificent views of the Franz Josef Glacier… 

Glacier Country Lake Tour - Across Country Quad Bikes

But all the fun starts when it starts to rain.  Enjoy the muddy puddles amongst lush rainforest – as we like to say, the wetter the better!  Full wet weather is provided to keep everyone warm and dry.  Just look at this splash:

Quad Bike In The Rain In Franz Josef Glacier

We offer a selection of quad bikes from single quads, unique 2-seater quad bikes or buggies!  There’s a bike for every type of rider.  Get amongst the West Coast weather! 

Waiho Hot Tubs

wood fired hot tub in rainforest

Enjoy a secluded rainforest experience in the inviting wood fired hot tubs with Franz Josef’s newest wet weather activity!  We introduce the Waiho Hot Tubs.

All the hot tubs are refilled with beautiful mountain stream water after each soak.  Hot Tub sessions last for 60 minutes and seat up to 4 adults and one child.  Each private area includes a dry shelter to keep your personal belongings dry.  The magical 39 degree water is the best place to be on a wet day in Franz Josef! 

Spaces fill up fast on rainy days in Franz Josef! Visit Waiho Hot Tubs to book or enquire. 

Glacier Valley Eco Tours

Franz Josef Tours - Glacier Valley Eco Tours - Franz Josef Glacier

Glacier Valley Eco Tours is a New Zealand owned and operated local family business who specialize in small-group guided walking tours in Glacier Country.  We provide guests with personal, informative and relaxed eco-style tours which walk at your pace, with plenty of opportunities to take photos, stand under waterfalls, hold ice out of the river and treasure hunt for native flowers, birds, mushrooms and wildlife. Stop for a cup of tea with magnificent views and a chat with your experienced guide.  We offer a range of nature tours, from short 2 hour to 12 hour full day options.   All our half days tours are suitable for all ages and abilities, including young children.

Experience the beauty of our spectacular rivers & waterfalls in a quiet valley free of air traffic in wet weather.  Join us on a REAL nature tour of our beautiful Glacier Country area in Aotearoa New Zealand.

For more information and bookings visit Glacier Valley Eco Tours


Jade Carving and Gem Stones

Franz Josef Tours - Jade Carving - Franz Josef Glacier


Carve your own unique piece of New Zealand!

Immerse yourself in a hands-on, authentic, cultural experience and take home your own special piece of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Rain, hail or shine, Mike and Jan Goodall will show you the craftsmanship that goes into producing a taonga/treasure made from NZ’s most prized stone – the pounamu. 

Classes are held at a studio located on their West Coast Farm – you can’t get more authentic than that! Cost is $75 per person and a courtesy van is available.

Full tuition is provided and anyone can do it.  Take home that one off piece that you will always treasure.

For more information and visit Te Koha Jade Carving 


West Coast Wildlife Center

Franz Josef Tours - Wildlife Center - Franz Josef Glacier


Meet and discover New Zealand’s rarest kiwi, the rowi, at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef, West Coast, New Zealand.

A partnership with The Department of Conservation & Te Runanga o Makaawhio.
Open from 8am every day of the year, the West Coast Wildlife Centre is a unique and interactive experience that brings together nature, conservation and wildlife all under one roof! Our all-weather attraction is fun for all ages to explore and takes place against the stunning backdrop of the Franz Josef Glacier.
The Kiwi & Tuatara fully guided Backstage Pass Tours are highly recommended. Booking essential.

For more information and bookings visit The West Coast Wildlife Center


Off-Road Adventure Quad Bike Tours On Franz Josef Glacier Riverbed

Wow, what a list!  And there’s more to see and do in Glacier Country than we’ve listed here.  Please see Glacier Country New Zealand’s website for more info and remember don’t let the rain scare you away.