View of Franz Josef from Sentinel Rock. © Anthony Cramp Creative Commons

Sentinel Rock Walk

Sentinel Rock, Franz Josef
View the map

TAP FOR MORE INFO:

Enjoy impressive views of the Franz Josef Glacier, the valley and Waiho River from the summit of this short steady climb.

About the walk

How long will it take? This is a 900m 20-minute return walk via the same track.

This short steady climb up a now bush-covered ice-scraped rock offers the most impressive views of the glacier and the Waiho River.

Information panels at the viewpoint show dramatic photos of the glacial retreat, making it one of the best places to appreciate the power of the glacier.

Sentinel Rock emerged from beneath the glacier in 1865 and is an example of how the glacial ice ground the hard schist bedrock into a Roche moutonnee or ‘rock sheep’.

Since 1909 the glacier has retreated over 3km and plants have progressively colonised where a veneer of rubble has been dumped over bedrock in the valley.

Drive or walk south a short distance from the Franz Josef Waiau township across the Waiho River bridge and turn left onto the Glacier Access Road or Te Ara a Waiau.

Drive or walk for approximately 4km to the car park at the end of the road. 

Explore more...


Be the first to comment on this page. You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Please log in or register if you don't have an account.

More stories like this

Find out more

Things to do

Franz Josef Glacier Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere Walk

Follow a rocky riverbed path then climb to the Franz Josef Glacier viewing area. It's a beautiful yet dangerous place that is sometimes closed, so check it's open before you start. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Things to do

Fox Glacier River Walk

Get a great view of Fox Glacier and the opportunity to cross a historic suspension bridge on this pleasant short walk. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Things to do

Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

Many of the crinklier bits of New Zealand’s geography were formed by the slow but insistent action of glaciers. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Natural attractions

Westland: land of ice dragons

Like an unfurling, white dragon, the Franz Josef Glacier flexes and curves between steep-walled valleys. Māori named it Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere – tears of the Avalanche Girl. Read the story . . . 

4.7 /5
4.7 /5
Ross Motel

Free Wi-Fi 60 mins PRE BOOKINGS WILL BE WELCOMED WITH A WARM ROOM IN WINTER En spreken hollands We are an older style complex, family . . . More . . . 

4.2 /5
4.2 /5
154 Kaniere Road Accommodation

Set down a long driveway with no road noise, we are located only 3.5km from Hokitika Town Centre. We can offer you the best of . . . More . . . 

4.3 /5
4.3 /5
Heritage Highway Motel Visit website

2 minute walk from shops , cafes the beach and all town amenities. Welcome to Heritage Highway Motel. We offer 14 quality 4 star units . . . More . . . 

4.1 /5
From $35
4.1 /5
252 Beachside Motels & Holiday Park Visit website

Quiet location adjacent to the beach. Inground swimming pool (seasonal) self-contained motel units and cottages campervan parks and standard cabins. Childrens play area - short . . . More . . . 

From $35