This enormous natural phenomenon terminates into a glacial lake, which is expanding every day. Gargantuan chunks of ice break off from the glacier and float in the cold, blue waters of the lake. The bright azure waters contrast the surrounding snow-capped mountains, creating a landscape that is breathtaking.
This glacier has been carving the landscape of the Southern Alps for over two million years, crafting deep crevasses from the surrounding greywacke rock.
Witnessing the sheer scale and power of this natural shelf of ice is one of the highlights of traveling to the South Island of New Zealand. Read on for our guide to how to get to Tasman Glacier and what to do when you are there.
Fascinating facts about Tasman Glacier
Tasman Glacier is 27 km long (16.7 miles) - making it the longest in New Zealand.
The nearby Blue Lakes is the habitat of the smallest bird in New Zealand - the rifleman.
The Tasman Glacier is the source of the popular and beautiful Lake Pukaki, which was created by the receding ice carving the rock over thousands of years.
The milky-blue hue of New Zealand’s rivers is due to the finely ground rock that pigments the water. The fine sediment absorbs all of the colours of the spectrum except blue.
The glacier was formed over 18,000 years ago, during the last ice age.
Unfortunately, the glacier is only growing at a rate of 80 m per year, which is not enough to combat the speed of its retreat.
Photo credit: Wikimedia