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Canavans Knob Walk, Franz Josef

Canavans Knob Walk, Franz Josef

If you’re looking for a slightly different angle on the spectacular scenery surrounding Franz Josef, the Canavans Knob Walk could be a good option. It starts at a very scenic car park and then winds up a hill for views towards Franz Josef Glacier.

Getting to the Canavans Knob Walk

This walk starts around a 5-minute drive south of town. There’s a car park and then a long gravel road that you’ll have to walk down. It looks like the car park will be further down that road in the future, so you might not have to walk it.

It’s a scenic start though – you can see some of the emerald-green hilltops and mountains that provide such a pretty backdrop to Franz Josef Glacier. Keep an eye out for native birds while walking down this road too – we saw a few wood pigeons.

The Climb

It takes around 90-minutes to walk up Canavans Knob and back – not a huge undertaking but a fair chunk of that is up a steep track. It won’t be difficult for anyone who is used to doing walks like this, but it’s not (quite) a walk in the park. There isn’t much to see along the way either – you’ll get the occasional clearing but you’ll have to wait for the top to get the best views.

The Summit

After slogging through the bush you’ll eventually come to a clearing, where you’ll see beautiful views stretching off towards the Southern Alps. We didn’t have great weather so the photos were a little disappointing, but I imagine on a perfect day you’ll get some Instagram worthy shots.

Who Should Do This Walk?

I wouldn’t recommend doing this walk over the more popular ones like Sentinel Rock, Peters Pool or the Franz Josef Glacier Walk (which goes down the valley close to the glacier, but most of it has been closed for a while now).

I’d do it if you’re looking for some exercise, want to escape the crowds of the more popular walks or have done them all and want to see this place from another angle. If you’re after even more of a workout I’d go for the Alex Knob Track – easily one of the best day walks in New Zealand.

Alex Knob Track, West Coast, New Zealand

Are you planning a trip to Franz Josef? Check out our post on the best things to do in Franz Josef, including walks, viewpoints and trips to the surrounding area.

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.