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If the attraction of glaciers excites you, the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park will blow you away. The national park includes New Zealand’s longest glacier the Tasman Glacier as well as over 60 other glaciers including hanging glaciers which can be seen on Mount Sefton from The Hermitage Hotel.
Tasman Glacier is an impressive 27 kilometres long and up to 4 kilometres wide. Cascading down from 3000 metres above sea level and finishing at its own terminal lake, the sheer scope and size is spectacular. The two most popular ways to view and experience this impressive glacier and the Tasman Valley within the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park are by:
Terminal lake cruise
Glacier Explorers runs up to seven trips a day from early September to late May, closing for winter as the lake freezes over. Your transport leaves from The Hermitage Hotel and takes you for a short trip down the Tasman Valley. After a 20 minute walk through the moraine, hop aboard your custom built MAC boat, sit back and enjoy your cruise through the rapidly growing Tasman Glacier terminal lake. Icebergs of every shape and size periodically tear away from the glacier, the experienced guides allow you to touch and taste the 300-500 year old ice crystals from the icebergs often seen floating within the lake.
The boats cruise the lake giving you awe inspiring views of Mount Cook, the southern alps and the Tasman Glacier terminal face from a safe distance. The entire trip takes around two and a half hours and make sure you bring a camera with plenty of memory!
4WD and Argo tour
Tasman Valley 4WD and Argo Tours is a unique adventure unlike anything else you will find within the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Leaving from The Hermitage Hotel you take a short drive through the Tasman Valley by 4WD to the Blue Lakes Carpark where your Argo awaits.
What is an Argo? An Argo is an 8 wheel all terrain vehicle (ATV) capable of conquering virtually anything in their path, making them ideal for exploring the rugged and beautiful Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.
You get to learn about the area and be entertained along the way by your friendly guide, their wealth of knowledge and fascinating local stories. The Argo stops at several vantage points providing some spectacular photographic opportunities before reaching the Tasman Glacier lookout. Just a short walk up the moraine gives you a breath taking view of the Tasman Glacier, its terminal face, lake, other surrounding glaciers and the highest mountains in New Zealand including Aoraki Mount Cook.
Visit www.glacierexplorers.com and www.mountcooktours.co.nz to book either of these great experiences!