If you are not typically an intrepid mountaineer, you may feel like you are missing out on some adventures that require a high skill level when it comes to scaling the snowy peaks or travelling to some of the most magical places on earth – glaciers.
New Zealand has some of the best alpine features in the world, and if you have the skills and resources required to indulge in a bit of solo heli-skiing or you have all the gear you need to hike the 13-18 hours it generally takes to hit the Mt Cook summit, then exploring the Tasman Glacier solo may be within your grasp.
If you are inexperienced with this kind of navigation, there are still some incredible options available to ensure you don’t miss out on journeying into the stunning frozen world of the incredible Tasman Glacier.
Read on to discover how you can access a once-in-a-lifetime experience with True South Flights and learn a few facts about this remote landmark.
Should I Visit the Tasman Glacier?
Short answer? Yes! This glacier, named Haupapa by local Maori, is New Zealand’s largest glacier flowing from the Alps towards the Mackenzie basin; it covers an impressive 23.5 kilometers of ground and is estimated to be around 600 meters deep at its thickest point.
Visit a World-Class Landmark
Adventure tourists have been heading up to the glacier since the 1970s, and with the recent escalation in the retreat of the ice, now more than ever, visiting this glacier is a really special experience that may not be around forever.
While the size of the glacier at 23.5 km is still incredibly impressive, it had stood steady at around 28 km for the entirety of the recorded history across the 20th century. It was in the 1990s that the rapid retreat began, and it has a large number of crevasses within its make-up that no longer have enough snow cover to warrant skiing.
This makes visiting Haupapa an even more significant experience, which is widely accessible for people of varying skill levels when you book a Tasman Glacier Heli Hike.
Where is Aoraki/Mount Cook?
Aoraki/Mount Cook is located on New Zealand’s South Island. This mountain is the largest in the range, which has 19 peaks in total. Aoraki is New Zealand’s tallest mountain across both islands, and the peak is steeped in sacred Maori culture. The local tribe is Ngāi Tahu, and for the Ngāi Tahu, Aoraki represents a link between this world and the world of the supernatural.
The first recorded instance of a European climber making it all the way up the summit was in 1894, and in 1862, explorer von Haast named the glacier Tasman.
Discover the Tasman Glacier Heli Hike
If you are looking for the best way to visit the Tasman Glacier, the Tasman Glacier Heli Hike has you covered. True South has been working in the area for over a decade, and we have a specialist team of pilots who are dedicated to providing you with the highlight of your holiday.
Our team will board you in Queenstown in the morning and take you to the side of the mountain with the best weather for exploring on that particular day. You fly on a fixed-wing plane that allows every passenger a wonderful view, and we guarantee you a window seat on all of our aircraft.
Flying over spectacular scenery, you reach the glacier in around an hour. We then transfer you and your gear to the chopper, manned by our partners, The Helicopter Line. Then, you strap in for the adventure of a lifetime!
Of course, the adventure of a lifetime requires the best guides, so True South partners with Alpine Guides. This team of total professionals can provide you with everything you need, from gloves, jackets and crampons to boots, hiking poles, and snowshoes. You should dress in regular walking clothes, always wear trousers, and make sure you wear sunblock, as the UV is high all year round up on the glacier.
An Accessible Adventure
To start your adventure, you will be transported deep into the glacier by helicopter before your crampons are fitted, and you hike through the crevasses and into the magical ice caves.
The Tasman Glacier Heli Hike includes a 2-hour fully guided walk, where you get up to 1200 metres above sea level and will experience incredible views across the range. You can bring your kids if they are over eight, and most people who are able to handle a brisk outdoor walk will be quite capable of joining in on this fantastic day out.
Are you ready to make some amazing memories? Get in touch now to book your Tasman Glacier Heli Hike – or browse our other exceptional experiences.