4 Jun 2015

New Zealand A to Z - Franz Josef

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:20 pm on 4 June 2015

Franz Joseph is on the South Island's west coast. At its back door are the spectacular Southern Alps and a glacier that dates back fifteen thousand years to the last ice age.

The glacier is one of the South Island's most popular tourist destinations but in recent years the glacier has retreated significantly, to the point where guided tour groups are no longer feasible on the ice.

Simon Mercep talks to some people who call Franz Josef home and scientists who've been studying the glacier’s retreat and the 8,000-year-old history of the alpine fault.