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This is an unbiased review and guide to visiting the Franz Josef Hot Pools (The Glacier Hot Pools) in New Zealand! We personally love these hot pools and have visited a couple of times. Here’s everything you should know before you go!
Every year thousands of tourists arrive at the town of Franz Josef to visit the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier. The chance to stand on or near this glacier is one no visitor to New Zealand should miss.
However, what most people don’t know is that the glacier is not all that makes Franz Josef such an amazing place – the Franz Josef Hot Pools are also a great attraction!
During my visit to Franz Josef I had read about the Franz Josef Hot Pools but, to be honest I wasn’t sold on the idea right away. After paying $25 to visit some hot springs near Auckland and being rather disappointed, I was not so keen on spending the money to do it again.
That being said, as a blogger I must always give it a go so I can later let you (our lovely readers) know how it really was!
If you’re heading to Franz Josef and think you would enjoy relaxing in natural hot pools then this guide on the Franz Josef Hot Pools will help with everything you need to know before you go!
Note: The hot pools in Franz Josef used to be called the “Franz Josef Hot Pools”, but the name for them has since changed and they are now called the “Glacier Hot Pools”. The Glacier Hot Pools are the same as the Franz Josef Hot Pools.
Franz Josef Hot Pools/Glacier Hot Pools Overview
Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools Review
To my surprise, the Franz Josef Hot Pools is totally worth visiting. In my opinion, the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools are some of the most beautiful hot pools I have ever been to!
The relaxing vibe and tropical-like setting made enjoying the different temperatures on a cold night the best way to finish off a day on the Franz Josef Glacier Walk.
The main pools consisted of three different temperatures, 36, 38, and 40 degrees Celsius (97, 100, and 104 Fahrenheit) so it really wasn’t hard to find the perfect temperature for me! Visiting at night was also a neat touch that I highly recommend.
From the moment you enter the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools, you feel as though you have entered another world, a world of luxury and tranquility.
Surrounding the pools are many native plants that blur out your surroundings and make you feel as though you are miles from anywhere. The use of rocks to make natural seats added to this natural feel and the dim lights and the soft sound of running water took me to another place far away!
To put it simply, I highly rate The Franz Josef Hot Pools and would have no trouble recommending it to others. In no way is this a sponsored post for the company, nor did we gain free entry – it really is just that amazing!
Buy your entrance ticket to the Franz Josef Hot Pools online in advance!
Related Read: There’s nothing quite like hiking Roys Peak for sunrise.
How much do the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools cost?
The Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools do offer a lot more than just communal pools and in fact, offer private pools as well as a range of Spa Massage treatments. Unfortunately, we only enjoyed the communal pools, however, I will list the prices we noted during our visit.
Entry to the communal pools was $28 NZD per person. There are all-day passes available for $5 extra, however, we were not given any time limit to our visit for the $28. My only guess is that the all-day pass allows you to leave and return!
This pass can also be upgraded to a “Premium Pass” which included the use of a towel, bathrobe, drink, and take-home skin care package.
For a two-person private pool for 45 minutes, it costs $95 NZD, for 3 people $110, and for 4 people $125. To me, this pricing is really good value for how magical this place is! This can also be upgraded to a “Pamper Package” that includes a platter of food, aroma oils, and the use of towels and robes!
Spa and Massage
There were three types of massages on offer. Hot stone ($185), deep tissue ($140), and relaxation ($140). These prices are for 6o minutes and prices change depending on the length of time.
Related Read: If your exploring near Mount Cook and expect to stay a few days here are some of the best Mount Cook accommodations.
Booking the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools
Bookings for private pools can be made online at The Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools website. I visited Franz Josef in the shoulder season and as such, bookings were not required. If you’re visiting in peak season then making a booking is the best way to secure your spot!
For general admission tickets, you can book your Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools entrance pass online.
Related Read: Since having lived here we learned a few things about how to score a cheap campervan rental in New Zealand.
Why I think you should go to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools!
Despite the comments above about it being one of the best hot pools I had been to, I really believe this place puts the icing on the cake after exploring the Franz Josef Glacier. I mean hiking is hard work and hard work deserves a nice relaxing break (especially when you’re on holiday!)
The pools soothe the muscles and get you relaxed for another day of adventure visiting other New Zealand West Coast attractions such as the Blue Pools, Thunder Creek Falls, or Punakaiki.
Other Must-Do Activities in Franz Josef
- Franz Josef Heli-Hike – Explore the glacier and caves after landing on Franz Josef via a scenic helicopter ride through Mt Cook National Park. A bucket list experience that should be on your New Zealand itinerary!
- Skydiving – What better place to go skydiving than in Franz Josef. Here, you can do a huge tamdem skidive from 20,000 feet!
- ATV Offroading – Spend two hours riding around the Franz Josef glacier area. You’ll see mountains and rainforests while your quad bike will take you through grasslands, rivers, and mud! Clothing for the conditions is provided.
- Go glacier kayaking – See one of the most beautiful areas in New Zealand from the water. This small group tour allows you to take in the Southern Alps as you paddle from Franz Josef to Lake Mapourika. The tours lasts for 3 hours.
Where to Stay in Franz Josef
Chatua Backpackers and Motel $ – Chatua Backpackers is the cheapest place in Franz Josef but only by a few dollars, however, this hostel also includes a free breakfast. Rooms range from small shared dorms to private single, double and quadruple rooms.
JAG Escape Franz Alpine Retreat $$ – These guys specialize in luxury double rooms and small, one and two-bedroom chalets and cottages. Their cottages and chalets come with private kitchens. Their location is out of town so make sure you have transport if you stay here.
Glenfern Villas $$$ – Glenfern Villas is a beautiful hotel that specializes in self-contained villas with fully equipped kitchens. Its location is out of town so it’s best to have a rental car if you want to stay here.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading this guide to the Franz Josef Hot Pools! I really hope you found it useful and inspired you to visit this little slice of heaven!
If you have any questions please feel free to leave them with a comment below. If not, then be sure to check out all our New Zealand travel guides here or check out these related articles below.
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Monday 22nd of March 2021
What are the opening hours and are the pools near accommodation ?
Monday 22nd of March 2021
The current hours are Friday 2–8:30p.m. Saturday 2–8:30p.m. Sunday 2–8:30p.m. Monday 2–8:30p.m
Yes the hot pools are located within walking distance from most hotels in Franz Josef town