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

Track overview

900 m return via same track

Walking and tramping

20 min Easiest: Short walk

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


View from Sentinel Rock. Photo: K Henderson.
View from Sentinel Rock

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

Getting there

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 4 km to the car park at the end of the road.


Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 752 0796
Address:   13 State Highway 6
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Full office details
Hokitika Office
Phone:      +64 3 756 9100
Full office details
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