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6 Franz Josef Glacier
A great introduction to the rainforest within walking distance of town. A goodie for young kids.
Take a torch and explore this walk at night to see glow-worms in the forest, especially under and around large fallen trees alongside the track.
The start of the track is signposted on the opposite side of the road to the Franz Josef Visitor Centre.
The track explores some dense rainforest before climbing to a moraine terrace with avenues of kamahi.
Moraines are glacially deposited debris, usually in the form of unsorted rock. If a glacial retreat halts for a time, rock debris is built up at the snout in a terminal moraine. At the edges it is known as a lateral moraine.
Kamahi Weinmannia racemosa is one of New Zealand’s most common trees and grows at all altitudes from the coast to submontane. It is a pioneer species and will colonise bare ground almost exclusively. Its multi-stemmed trunks reach an even height and provide nursery conditions for seedlings of emergent trees, such as podocarps or beeches, to establish. It’s white erect flowers are both beautiful and attractive to honey bees.
In this location the forest has developed since the retreat of the glaciers. As you travel closer the the terminal face of the glaciers, the forest gets younger.
South Island ▷ West Coast ▷ Franz Josef Glacier
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍