Shocking photos reveal Franz Josef Glacier's retreat

A side by side comparison of ice on the glacier.
Photo credit: Supplied/Steve Peake

Shocking photos have shown the change  Franz Josef Glacier has undergone in a little under 10 years, with hundreds of metres worth of ice gone.

Auckland resident Steve Peake told Newshub he made his way to the glacier to show family from overseas what the South Island was like.

But he discovered a massive change in the glacier's shape. He compared photos taken on the day with photos taken in the summer of 2009 and the difference was shocking.

The ice has disappeared up a steep track and can barely be seen.

"Our whole family is really saddened by the retreat of the glacier and it looks like in another 10 years there will be nothing left to visit," Mr Peake told Newshub.

The photos were published on social media site Reddit, where users shared Mr Peake's concerns.

"Last century these glaciers were the size of mountains. This has been happening for a long time, and we'll never get it back," one user wrote.

"Was there not many years back when it was down the lower of these photos, and at that point the signs made it clear how far it had already retreated," another said.

"To see it like this now is just f**ked."