Franz Josef is a tiny town on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island, home to the famous Franz Josef Glacier. Neighbouring Fox Glacier is just down the road. These glaciers are unique in that they are two of just three glaciers in the whole world to feed directly into a rainforest.
Robert's Point is the most challenging hike in the region with the steepest and most complicated terrain. Please be well-prepared: bring sturdy hiking boots, warm waterproof clothing for changing weather conditions, tell someone where you're heading and when you plan to return and never attempt to cross the river. People have died on this trail.
However, if you're experienced and well-prepared, this hike will reward you with stunning views of Franz Josef Glacier. This trail gets you the closest out of all the possible routes in Franz Josef and the sights are breathtaking.
ROBERT'S POINT HIKE DETAILS
When: year-round and do not hike in the rain as can be very slippery (I saw 3 people fall)
Where: Franz Josef Glacier, starting at the parking lot south of town
Difficulty: difficult - you will need to be able to pull your weight up rock faces
Length: with an extended lunch break at the top, this 11km trek will take approximately 5 hours return. Give yourself plenty of time to return in the daylight as it can get quite dark in the rainforest.
Directions: from the Franz Josef Glacier carpark, follow signs for Robert's Point past Peter's Pool. The trail is very clear to follow.
Bathrooms: yes, at the carpark
Public Transit: yes, a shuttle provides roundtrip transport from town to the carpark for $12.50; alternatively it's just a 45 minute walk