The Tasman Glacier

The longest temperate glacier in the Southern Hemisphere.


The South Island of New Zealand is unique for a temperate climate zone in that the glaciers here come almost to sea level.

There are approximately 178 separate glaciers in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. The two main systems are the Tasman and the Godley.

Two million years of history

The Tasman Glacier’s story goes back 2 million years – to the Pleistocene ice ages. The glacier has advanced and retreated several times, leaving behind great moraine deposits, and carving out Lake Pukaki.


  • 27 km long
  • 600 metres deep (nearly 2000 ft) in the middle, and 200 metres deep at the nevé
  • An average width of 1.6 km (a mile)
  • Average daily surface motion 35-40 cm (over a foot)
  • Annual snowfall depth at the nevé – up to 70 metres!

Info from

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