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Glacier Explorers up-and-running for summer season

Glacier Explorers, Aoraki Mount Cook, now open for summer

Media release from Glacier Explorers
September 16 2013

Glacier Explorers up-and-running and excited for summer season

Access to New Zealand’s stunning Tasman Glacier is once again possible as iconic tourism operator Glacier Explorers opens for summer business this week taking the first guests on their once-in-a-lifetime boat trip.

Guides and guests took to the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake on Saturday (14 September) aboard the company’s Mac Boats, surrounded by around 50 icebergs of varying sizes, marking the start of the 2013/14 season.

Glacier Explorers offers the only tour of its kind in New Zealand at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and is one of the only accessible glacial lakes containing icebergs in the world.

Trips don’t operate in winter as the lake is frozen over, however trips resume from this week as the lake has melted.

The company’s four Mac Boats, including a new 15-seater vessel called the Nor’easter, were lifted into the lake last week by helicopter.

Glacier Explorers Operations Manager Bede Ward, who’s led the experienced team of guides for a number of years, said opening weekend was “amazing”.

“It was perfect; the sun was shining and there were some great icebergs to be seen. The team and I are stoked to be back on the water once again,” said Mr Ward.

“You never get tired of being out here, it’s ever-changing and every day you see something slightly different,” he said.

“It promises to be yet another exciting season ahead with a couple of ‘calvings’ predicted over the next few months,” said Mr Ward.

“No one knows exactly when this natural phenomenon will take place but during a recent helicopter flight over the glacier we could see signs of movement. We’ll see a couple of calvings this year, though who knows if they’ll be as big as last year’s”, Mr Ward said.

Last summer saw a major calving event take place forming the largest-ever iceberg seen on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake; a delight for guests and guides.

In February the entire 650m-wide front face of the Tasman Glacier in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park broke away into the lake and into around 20 huge icebergs, providing a spectacular sight for passengers. The iceberg remains of the calving can still be seen today.

Glacier Explorers take passengers out on the lake to view the terminal face of New Zealand’s largest glacier, the Tasman Glacier, and the icebergs that periodically break away to float on the glacial lake offer “an extraordinary opportunity to view nature in action”.

“Getting out on this magnificent lake is a unique experience and is growing in popularity.

“It’s on most people’s ‘to do’ list while they’re in New Zealand, it’s simply spectacular,” Mr Ward said.

The tour is hugely popular with New Zealand and overseas visitors, taking over 25,000 visitors last season.

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


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