Covid-19 Update: My Vaccine Pass is required for eligible participants.
0800 423 262

Kayak and Walk – Franz Josef Tours, Franz Josef

Kayak and Walk – Franz Josef Tours, Franz Josef

by | Aug 25, 2019

A Kayak and Walk Tour to remember..

Our Kayak and Walk tour includes a beautiful crossing over Lake Mapourika’s calm and glassy water, before paddling into our secret beach located on the far shoreline of the Lake.  Once we head over to the far side of Lake Mapourika, the buzz of the helicopters subsides into silence, and all we can hear is the sound of native birds and our paddle’s dipping into the pristine water.

A Rainforest Track On Lake Mapourika In Franz Josef Glacier

Once we’ve reached the far side the panoramic views of the mountains are incredible.  We enjoy views as far as Mt. Cook & Tasman across the Lake along with many different glaciers, including the Franz Josef Neve.  However, we’re going to leave these views behind for the moment as we enter into another world of Jurassic rainforest…

Jurassic Rainforest

A New Zealand Fantail in the forest on Lake Mapourika

A picture of a Fantail (or Piwakawaka) taken by one of our guides on our rainforest trail.

The rainforest makes up some of Westland’s oldest untouched, which has never been logged.  It’s similar only to other rainforests in Fiordland, making the area truly unique!  Dinosaurs enjoyed this forest as well, as it’s been discovered that the old growth rainforest around the lake is nearly identical to that of the Jurassic era!  It sure can feel like you’re venturing into another world as you follow your guide through our exclusive rainforest nature trail.

Rowi Kiwi Birds

The pristine rainforest is one of the reasons that Lake Mapourika makes up part of the SouthWestland UNESCO world heritage site, the other is the regions dynamic flowing glaciers and also the endangered Rowi Kiwi – the rarest of it’s kind!  The Rowi population is found only here in the Sanctuary at the back of Lake Mapourika.  This species of kiwi  wasn’t discovered until 1995!  Through lots of hard work with the Department Of Conservation and the Operation Nest Egg program we’ve managed to bring the population back from the brink of extinction into a stable pocket of about 500 kiwi birds.  They are now re-locating the Rowi into other local South Westland area’s.  How incredible!

Rainforest Walk On Lake Mapourika Near Franz Josef Glacier

A cafe in the bush?

As we enjoy a cup of tea on the track (in a spot we like to call the flax cafe) your guide will tell tales of the Kiwi – or you may even learn how to weave with New Zealand’s native flax. Flax weaving is a traditional cultural practice utilised by Maori.  Flax has many uses from edible to fibre, and makes beautiful baskets and strong ropes… or a good flax flower to take home as a memory.

Flax Flower Franz Josef Wilderness Tours

What to bring on your Kayak and Walk Tour?

  • Comfortable walking shoes (don’t worry – we do our best to keep your feet dry!)
  • A small snack, or light lunch (enjoy a quick bite a Flax Cafe)
  • A camera or phone (optional)
  • Comfortable pants, shorts or leggings.  Please – no jeans!
  • Cap or sunglass

We provide:

  • FREE high quality digital photos. (Leave the camera behind, and truly enjoy the moment!)
  • A drybag for your belongings.
  • Jackets (or wet weather gear dependant on the weather)
  • Sunscreen & bugspray – we’ve got you covered!

If you’re not into kayaking, then you can still experience the beautiful Rainforest Trail on our Cruise & Nature Walk. 

Of if you’re ready to join us for a Kayak and Walk tour then you can book online today!