Day Six: In the face of a Silent Giant

The morning sun “KISSED” the peak of Mount Cook from the view from our hotel room. It was time to see the Tasman Glacier up close! We checked in at the hotel activities center and loaded a bus with 34 of our closest friends for a quick 15 minute ride to the trailhead to get to the jetty of Tasman Lake!

After a 1.5 mile hike to the jetty, we were divided into 3 groups to board our “glacier boats” for a tour of Tasman Lake with Ryan, and to see the “terminal face” of the glacier. During our ride along the 5-mile length of the glacier lake, we ran across some “mini icebergs” that we were able to pick up and get a few pics of!

While the park doesn’t allow you to get closer than 200m to the glacier terminal face, it was simply stunning to see!!

Off the boat, hike back, bus return to hotel, load up the car, and off on the 3.5 hour TREK to Queenstown! Our home for the next 5 days.

Interesting facts on the glacier from Wikipedia below:

The glacier remained at a constant 28 km (17 mi) in length for all of its recorded history in the 20th century before starting its current period of rapid melting in the 1990s. Between 2000 and 2008 alone, the glacier terminus receded 3.7 km. Since the 1990s the terminus has retreated about 180 metres (590 ft) a year on average. The glacier is now in a period of faster retreat where the rate of retreat is calculated to be between 477 to 822 metres (1,565 to 2,697 ft) each year It is estimated that the Tasman Glacier will eventually disappear and the terminal Tasman Lake will reach a maximum size in 10 to 19 years time.

In 1973 Tasman Glacier had no terminal lake and by 2008 Tasman Lake was 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide, and 245 metres (804 ft) deep.

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