Flying with

True South Flights

The Tasman Glacier. Stretching over twenty-three kilometres long, the Glacier begins in Mount Cook and terminates in the stunning Lake Tasman. Well-known as the longest glacier in New Zealand, this is a stunning demonstration of our country’s natural beauty.

For many years, this part of the country was untouchable. Only the very best mountaineers could get close, and the view from the top of the glacier belonged to them alone. Now, it can be yours, too.

Seeing the view from the Tasman Glacier is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we’re proud to provide as part of our regional Mount Aoraki offers. Considering taking a trip to this beautiful part of Aotearoa? Read on to learn more about our Tasman Glacier Heli-Hike, a beautiful way to cap off your experience of the South Island.

Untouched Natural Beauty: The Tasman Glacier

Criss-crossing 101 square kilometres of Aoraki National Park, the Tasman Glacier is an unstoppable, slow-moving force of nature. Glaciers are large, thick masses of ice that slowly drift downhill. They form when snow falls continually in a region, eventually compressing into large sheets of ice over hundreds of years. With enough ice, the weight of the wall drifts downward, forming a glacier.

The Tasman Glacier is fed by snow and rain falling down the slopes of Aoraki, the country’s highest peak. The entire Glacier bridges the divide between Mt Cook and Tasman Lake, earning it a firm spot in the history books. Tasman Lake is actually runoff from the glacier and is gradually growing thanks to the glacier’s slow-melting retreat from rising global temperatures.

That’s not all the Glacier’s melt has revealed. As ice has slowly retreated, it has revealed some incredible glacial features. Crevasses, ice caves, and ice towers galore, there’s so much to be seen when you reach ice level. This has made it a stunning place to hike, which is where we come in.

Your Trip to the Ice

At True South Flights, we offer a stunning Tasman Glacier heli-hike package. This stunning trip will take you over the Southern Alps, passing over 3000 small glaciers on the way to your final destination.

Fixed-Wing Flight to National Park

Your day begins at the Queenstown Airfield (near the airport), where our team will usher you into a comfortable fixed-wing aircraft for your first leg. Fly over the Southern Alps toward the east, eventually touching down by the Tasman Glacier tour site.

The route of this flight may be affected by the weather on the day, as the weather in this mountainous region invites shifting weather patterns. If weather permits, we’re able to coordinate with our guiding partners on the Glacier to alternate between sides, allowing you to experience the beauty of the ice even if it might be a different side of the mountain.

Scenic Helicopter Flights

At this point, we’ll accompany you to check in with our helicopter and guiding partners, Alpine Guides. This top-notch team will outfit you with the necessary equipment and run you through a safety briefing to ensure you’re prepared for your time on the ice.

Following that, you’ll hop into a helicopter and take another hour’s flight into a deeper part of the Tasman Glacier. You’ll fly over the Tasman Lake, witnessing the spot where the glacier terminates into the water, before landing right in the middle of the Glacier.

Two-Hours of Ice Time

Finally, after seeing it from a distance, you’ll get to step out onto the ice and experience the Glacier up close and personal. Our guide partners will outfit you with crampons, boots, thick socks, and ice axes, walking you through a safety briefing before taking you out to hike the surface of the glacier.

The beauty of hiking a glacier is that no day is like the other—since this is technically a moving phenomenon! The landscape changes constantly, offering new and exciting ice formations to explore.

In your two hours of guided ice time, you’ll explore ice caves, witness towering ice formations, and see the glittering, untouched snow only a few have been able to walk on. This is a very easy hike. If you’re fit enough to handle a few flights of stairs and two hours on your feet, you will be able to complete this hike.

Once you’ve seen all there is to see, you’ll return via helicopter and fixed-wing flight to the Queenstown airport, ready to retire after a long day of adventure.

See Aotearoa from a whole new perspective with True South Flights.

No trip to Mount Cook is complete without a hike over a glacier. Experience this once-in-a-lifetime trip in style with a Tasman Glacier heli-hike package from True South Flights, with window seats guaranteed!

Enjoy courtesy transport from your accommodation, a guided hike, and world-class views with our experienced team and guiding partners. Book your trip today