German geologist Julius von Haast was the first European to extensively study and map Westland’s glaciers during the 1860s. In 1865, he named the most famous one after Franz Joseph I, then reigning Emperor of Australia. Approximately 10,000 years ago, the glacier extended to the Tasman Sea. Since then, the terminus (called a toe or snout) has retreated 12 miles and is challenging to reach. One way to see it from a distance starts at the Franz Josef Glacier Car Park. The 1.5 hour loop walk leads through the Waiho River Valley. This rock littered terminal moraine is surrounded by cascading waterfalls.