|Franz Josef Glacier|
Police in Franz Josef said in a statement Saturday that the 20-year-old woman from China and the 23-year-old woman from Malaysia were part of a group of four on a walking track near the glacier on Friday.
They declined to reveal their names until the next-of-kin were notified.
The group tried to cross the Waiho River on foot at about 9.30pm (New Zealand time) but the two women were swept off their feet and washed downstream.
The two other members of the group walked out and raised the alarm.
A rescue helicopter found the two bodies in the Waiho River at 1am Saturday (New Zealand time).
Reports said that the river is known locally to be dangerous as it is often heavily sedimented and the bottom is hard to see.