Franz Josef is a small town in the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand. Whataroa is 32 km to the north-east, and the township of Fox Glacier is 23 km to the south-west. State Highway 6 runs through the town. The Waiho River runs from the Franz Josef Glacier to the south, through the town, and into the Tasman Sea to the north-west.
The population was 330 in the 2006 Census, an increase of 9 from 2001.
The town is named after the Franz Josef Glacier - itself named by Julius von Haast in honour of the Emperor of Austria Franz Josef I of Austria. The glacier's terminal face is 5 km from the town and its accessibility makes it a major tourist attraction and the reason many people visit Franz Josef. The town is located within the Westland Tai Poutini National Park.
Franz Josef, February 2009
Coordinates: 43°24′S 170°11′E / 43.400°S 170.183°E