Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier View
Time: 40 min return
Difficulty: Easy with some rock steps. 100 m height gain.
From the car park, walk past the Blue Lakes shelter and meander up past the Blue Lakes to a viewpoint on the moraine wall. There are good views of the lower Tasman Glacier and lake, icebergs and the mountains at the head of the valley. A side trip to the Blue Lakes offers good swimming in summer.
At around 27 km long, the Tasman Glacier is the longest glacier in New Zealand.
Tasman Glacier Lake
Time: 1 hr
Difficulty: Easy. No height gain.
This walk branches off the Blue Lakes track just past the Blue Lakes shelter and leads to a viewpoint of the Tasman Glacier terminal lake. A further track branches off this track to go to the source of the Tasman River. Icebergs can usually be seen floating in the lake in summer, and in winter, the lake freezes over. The track leads through the old terminal moraines of the glacier, and you can see good examples of plant succession along the route.
Turn off SH80 onto Tasman Valley Road just before Aoraki/Mount Cook Village. Follow this for about 7 km to the car park at the end.
Nature and conservation
Tasman Glacier Lake is a relatively recent addition to the scene, starting its formation in 1974 and growing steadily since then. The large terminal moraines mark the foot of the Tasman Glacier at the time of the lake’s formation and are a sobering reminder of the glacier’s retreat.