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Tasman Glacier (Haupapa)
Tasman Glacier (Haupapa)

Tasman Glacier (Haupapa)

Old Ball Hut Road, Mount Cook, 7946

The Basics

At 18 miles (29 kilometers) long and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) wide, the Tasman Glacier dominates the landscape beneath Aoraki/Mount Cook. It’s also living on borrowed time: Due to climate change, the glacier is melting at a rate of 500–900 yards (457–823 meters) a year; it might not be long before the glacier’s snow-covered peaks are just a memory.

You can experience the glacier and its sights in a number of ways. Join a boat cruise over Lake Tasman and sail past the towering slope of rock and ice, take a helicopter from Aoraki/Mount Cook Village and hike the glacier-top on foot, ride an Argo up Tasman Valley to the glacier lookout, or take a short walk from Blue Lakes parking lot to a viewing point on the edge of the lake.

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Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
$296.74 per adult
Traveler Favorite
A highly memorable day!
Seeing these icons of New Zealand made for a very memorable day. The scenery was spectacular. Gary was a fabulous host, taking care of our every need. The day was well managed and we didn't feel rushed. We highly recommend this trip.
Helen_B, Nov 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Mount Cook

star-5
The best of the best tour
Noriko_K, Mar 2020
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
Our guide remembered each guest’s name, and I had a good impression on him. I never get bored in the tour and the guide was knowledgeable.
star-5
Awesome day with Maossi
Sarah_C, Mar 2020
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
Fantastic experience with Maossi tours. Gary was host, guide, driver and friend by the end of the day. A very personalised service which made us feel like VIPs. We crammed a lot of sights, information, food and coffee into our day. My highest recommendation for Maossi Tours.
star-5
Learning much more than I thought I would.
cslghk, Jan 2020
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
Gary is a fantastic guide. Being friendly and talkative, he was able to provide an abundant amount of informations regarding the tour. We even went on a tangent and chat about current statues of New Zealand! The vehicle I travelled in was also really modernized, with wifi and USB charge pod included. This tour really opens my eye on the history and culture of New Zealand.
star-5
Best tour guides ever
Michelle_C, Dec 2019
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
This was the best arranged tour I have been on. The guides were warm and knowledgable and planned everything meticulously. They went above and beyond to ensure everyone was comfortable with welcome packs, wifi, drinks, and delicious food. The scenery was stunning and while it was a long day it was well worth it.
star-5
Excellent day tour
PingC188, Oct 2019
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
I was so happy to join the wonderful day tour with Gary and Nicole on the 8th of Oct. Kids love their gift bags( including a bottle of water,snacks, sorbet tissues and hand sanitizer. ) I love everything Nicole and Gary arranged for us. Highly recommend their well organized service
star-5
Fantastic Experience with Maossie Tours
Malgorzata_C, Mar 2020
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
This was the best tour that I have taken with Viator so far - Christchurch to Mt Cook and back with Maossie Tours. Our guides/drivers/and first of all our hosts Nicole and Gary were incredible: very warm, friendly, knowledgeable, accommodating, paying attention to every detail. We felt safe and comfortable. Great welcome bags, excellent wifi in the van, delicious snacks (some of them homemade!), excellent lunch – we were not hungry even for a second! The scenery was amazing, and the tour was extremely well arranged! Long day but worth every second of it! Many well selected “Kodak Moments” as well. Thank you!
star-4
Wonderful day at Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park
David_D, Jan 2020
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
We really enjoyed this tour! Mt Cook was beautiful, and so was the Tasman Glacier, and the Lakes. We would definitely recommend this tour company if you are staying in Christchurch, because outside of renting a car and trekking yourself, it is the easiest way to get out to see Mt Cook that we could find, and definitely the best value. The day was long, but very fun! If you are thinking that there will be a lot of time on this trip spent hiking or exploring the outdoors, this is not the trip for you. This is not a flaw per se, the distance from Christchurch to Aoraki necessitates quite a few hours on the road. You do get some time to hike around at both Aoraki and the Tasman Glacier, but it is no more than about 60 minutes at a time. Both the hiking and driving portions featured great views, but there is far more time spent on the road than on the trail. Be prepared for around 9 hours in the van, with smaller windows of time at each stop, ranging from 10 to 90 minutes outside of the transport at various stops. The van was comfortable, with great amenities (climate control, WiFi, phone charging, and on-board documentaries). The documentaries were fascinating, and helped make the car ride easier. The tour guides were friendly, approachable, professional, and provided a lot of interesting information. Both of our guides knew their way around a camera, and were happy to help take photos at the various photo opportunities throughout the trip. We do have a few suggestions on things that could be improved. First, the amount of time we had around lunch to explore the Alpine Center at the National Park didn't feel like enough to make the most of the cost of entry - when we were there we mostly wanted to use the 90 minutes allotted to enjoy the exquisite buffet, and take in the outdoor views of Mt Cook. Stopping to watch an in-door documentary or peruse the museum for too long felt like wasting the opportunity to take in the highlight of the day: the mountains themselves. No one in our trip party stayed for very long in the museum. We mention this because it definitely seems like the cost of the center is included in the package and we didn't really feel like it was necessary to the program - so maybe drop this item and the price of the package, or make it optional. Another small note, while the narration during the trip, on the van was welcome, there were moments where it would have been nice to have no narration or music or film, to allow us to better take in the majesty of our surroundings. Overall, we had a really great time. We are so happy we were able to see this natural wonder during our brief stay on the South Island. Would recommend!
star-5
Wonderful trip !
Oliver T, Dec 2019
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
Gary and Nicole were great hosts and guides for this day long trip from Christchurch to Mt Cook and back. We had to make some road detours because of flood damage to roads a week earlier but Gary/Nicole more than make up for the extra 2 hours on the road with the care and attention to us. Both were very knowledgeable and friendly, especially with the kids (all the passengers had a little sweet goodies bag. Thanks Gary and Nicole for the wonderful time. We really enjoyed it very much, making this the highlight for our NZ trip.
star-4
Quite a long trip but what an amazing view !
julienguiot, Oct 2019
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
A long trip from Christchurch but worthing it if you don't have the time to stay at Mount Cook / Aoraki. Gary is a nice guy that like to share stories about his country and the tour include some litlle gifts to make the trip easier. We enjoyed a beautiful day and wonderful view of the mountains, the Tasman Glacier, the Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki. The only thing that we missed was the Mount Cook / Aoraki unfortunatelly hidding behind clouds this day but that's part of the game with New Zealand weather ;-)

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Tasman Glacier is a must for outdoors enthusiasts and all first-time visitors to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.

  • The park has walking tracks for all skill and fitness levels—the Blue Lakes trail is good for beginners, while the up-glacier hikes are recommended for more seasoned hikers.

  • Other glaciers in the national park surround Tasman Glacier, so explore while you’re in the region.

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How to Get There

Lake Tasman is situated in the middle of the Mackenzie District, a half-day’s drive southwest from Christchurch or north from Queenstown. The Cook Connection shuttle service is available from late spring to late fall and drops you in the national park from Twizel or Tekapo.

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When to Get There

Lake Tasman sometimes freezes over during bitter South Island winters, so if you’re planning on seeing the glacier from the water, your best bet is to visit in late spring or early fall. If you’re more interested in experiencing a winter wonderland at the top of the glacier, snowfall typically occurs during winter.

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Ski the Glacier

Some guided tour operators offer ski excursions onto Tasman Glacier, giving you the chance to cut across the slopes on some of New Zealand’s most astonishing ski runs. These ski excursions typically operate during the winter and early spring.

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