Spectacular ‘calving’ in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park

14 January 2015

An impressive ‘calving’ event on the front face of New Zealand’s Tasman Glacier has created a buzz in Mt Cook with large new icebergs now floating and slowly drifting around the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake.

The calving – believed to have happened around 5.30pm on Tuesday January 13 – saw areas of the 650m-wide front face and the underwater ice shelf of the Tasman Glacier in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park break away into the lake.

The ice broke into a number of very large icebergs, including two large icebergs which Glacier General Manager Bede Ward described as ‘Huge’.

“The last major calving we had was almost 2 years ago, so this calving event was well overdue” he said.

“Although not as large, this calving is just as impressive and with longer periods between major calvings it could be an indication that the glacier retreat is starting to slow.
Mr Ward said the icebergs created by this recent calving would make for “fantastic viewing” for visitors on board Glacier Explorers Mac Boats, which takes passengers out on the lake to view the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s largest glacier.

“It’s an extraordinary opportunity to view nature in action, simply spectacular,” he said. “Guests who have been out with us today couldn’t believe their luck, and the icebergs will be around for visitors to enjoy for some time.”

Glacier Explorers offers the only tour of its kind in New Zealand at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and is just one of three of its kind in the world. The tour is hugely popular with New Zealand and overseas visitors, taking 26,000 visitors this season.
“Getting out there on one of our boats on this magnificent lake is so unique and is becoming more and more popular with visitors to New Zealand,” said Mr Ward. “It’s on most people’s ‘to do’ list while they’re here.”

Glacier Explorers trips depart seven times a day, leaving every hour and a half. Bookings are essential and can be made at www.glacierexplorers.com