The Tasman Glacier is a geology lesson in action. The largest glacier in the Southern Alps, the massive sheet of ice is slowly flowing south along the eastern edge of Aoraki/Mount Cook.
The top of the glacier is covered in ice and snow, but its long lower stretch extending for kilometers is a jumbled mass of rocks and debris swept down from the melting peak.
It’s estimated that the Tasman Glacier is retreating between 477 to 822 meters (1,564 to 2,696 feet) each year; at that rate its days are numbered. Since the 1970s, the melting waters have collected in Lake Tasman at the foot of the glacier.
The Tasman Glacier spills into the north shore of Lake Tasman, 7 km (4.5 mi) north-east of Mount Cook Village. The glacier measures 29 km (18 mi) long, 4 km (2.5 mi) wide.
The best way to see the glacier is from a boat excursion on Lake Tasman.