Located on the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand is the beautiful small town of Franz Josef. This quaint little town houses a major tourist attraction, which it is named after; the Franz Josef Glacier. Those visiting this spectacular World Heritage Area have the opportunity to participate in a plethora of outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, caving, tramping, jet boating, horse-back riding, heli-hiking as well as activities like sky diving and whitewater rafting, for those looking to try something a bit more daring. Franz Josef also has zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums that are sure to provide hours of entertainment for the kids. For Muslims visiting the town, there are hardly any Muslim-friendly facilities in Franz Josef.
The Franz Josef Glacier is located only 5 kilometres from the town and is one activity tourists cannot miss out on. Visitors can get in a serious work out by walking up the glacier; and even though the hike is quite challenging and tiring, it is well worth it in the end. Tourists can also take a guided heli-hike to discover the magnificence and beauty of the glacier. The heli-hike experience involves seeing the magnificent sights from up high on a helicopter first, and then getting up-close and personal. The pilots of the helicopter and other staff, are well trained, friendly and informative and share their experiences, all while flying over snowfields, Franz Josef, ice caves and Fox Glaciers. Visitors also get to experience a snow landing and get to get close to ice caves and glacial waterfalls. The scenery is best described as breathtaking, astounding and dramatic, and the helicopter ride is quite enjoyable. It is the ideal activity to get the entire family involved. Visitors do need to be warned that due to unpredictable weather and therefore low visibility, trips do tend to get cancelled. Also, visitors should be aware that the heli-hike company does provide all the gear necessary, including warm and waterproof clothing, like pants, coats and boots. The glacier is definitely a must-visit and the heli-hike is the best way to experience the glacier and take away an unforgettable experience.
The perfect activity to follow a long, tiring day on the glacier would be to unwind and relax and soak in a steaming glacier pool. The Glacier Hot Pools are located in the heart of the town of Franz Josef, in a tranquil, lush rain forest. There are three irresistible pools, with varying degrees of temperature. Visitors also have the option of renting a private pool, for a short period of time. This is the ideal choice for Muslim families visiting the facility. Those looking for activities within the Franz Josef town itself will not be disappointed.
Franz Josef does have a local airport, namely Franz Josef Airport, which is only suitable for light traffic. There are also a few domestic airports that are located some distance away, including Hokitika Airport and Westport Airport. The closest major international airports to Franz Josef, are; Queenstown International Airport and Christchurch International Airport.
There are no known Halal restaurants in Franz Josef. Muslim visitors can however try some vegetarian options at the local restaurants in Franz Josef after ensuring that the dishes do not have any non-Halal items added.
Unfortunately there are no Masjids or Islamic Centers in Franz Josef. Muslim tourists are therefore advised to offer their prayers in the hotel room, if possible.