When Alan and I traveled to the South Island of New Zealand, we asked guide, Robert Panzer, of Tailored Travel to arrange a 2-night stay in glacier country. His choice of accommodation, Franz Josef Glacier Country Retreat, provided a peaceful setting for unwinding after active baby boomer days exploring glaciers or hiking at Lake Matheson.
The country inn sits on 200 acres of farmland with views of Lake Mapourika. A short drive leads to the village of Franz Josef and one of New Zealand’s most accessible glaciers, Franz Josef. Fox Glacier is just a few more miles down the highway.
Most of the rooms at Franz Josef Country Retreat are on the small side with bathrooms that have showers but no tubs. However, the accommodations were very clean, adequately furnished and included access to the veranda with a lake or mountain view. Alan and I upgraded to the larger John Schilling room with jacuzzi tub. The heated towel racks were a big hit with us.
In the late afternoon, we joined an international roster of guests in the large lounge (living room). Alan and I munched on cheese and sipped wine while learning about life in Holland, England, Switzerland and Canada. Dinner at Mapourika Restaurant, located on the premises, included prawn salad, with entree choices of venison, lamb, beef or the fish of the day. After a desert of strawberry creme brulé, guests returned to the lounge for coffee and conversation.
The room rate includes a hot breakfast, however our package with Franz Josef Glacier Country Retreat arranged for dinner as well. Mapourika Restaurant is also open to the public.
Active baby boomers will find plenty of thrill-seeking adventures in this area of New Zealand. The inn maintains an activity list plus the staff will help make arrangements.
Do you have any travel tips to share about visiting Franz Joseph or Fox Glaciers?
Please post a comment to share your experience. This is a must do trip for active baby boomers.
Update, November 5, 2012: Franz Josef Country Retreat website is no longer live. After much searching on Google, I could not determine if they are still in business.