The Franz Josef (Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere in Māori) is a 12 km long glacier located in Westland National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Together with the Fox Glacier 20 km to the south, it is unique in descending from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres above sea level, amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest.
The area surrounding the two glaciers is part of Te Wahipounamu, a World Heritage Site park. The river emerging from the glacier terminal of Franz Josef is known as the Waiho River.
As many other glaciers around the globe this glacier is receding and based on past variations, scientists expect that Franz Josef Glacier will retreat 5 km and lose 38% of its mass by 2100 in a mid-range scenario of warming. I compared my photos of the Franz Josef glacier, taken in October 2006, with some photos taken by Trey Ratcliff in March, 2010 and could certainly notice that the glacier has receded in this time.