Sentinel Rock Walk

Track category

Short walk

Time:  

20 min return

Distance:  

900 m return

Description

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 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.

Places to stay


There are a number of accommodation options in Franz Josef Waiau.

Plan and prepare

  • Check the current track conditions and weather forecasts at the Westland Tai Poutini  National Park Visitor Centre and i-SITE before starting your trip.
  • Always take warm and waterproof clothing as the weather can change rapidly. 
  • Carry drinking water, insect repellent and sun protection at all times.

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Safety

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for West Coast places

Contacts

Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 752 0796
Address:   13 State Highway 6
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Email:   westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
Franz Josef Glacier Base
Phone:      +64 3 752 0796
Email:   westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

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