Mt Cook: More departures for off-road activities
New schedules and more departures for off-road activities at Aoraki Mt Cook
Tasman Valley 4WD and Argo Tours have reopened for summer with new schedules and more departures for visitors seeking exhilarating off-road experiences in the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.
Visitors exploring the region’s magnificent mountain, glacier and lake scenery can now jump on one of six, 90-minute tours that depart daily from outside the Hermitage Hotel.
The 4WD and Argo Tour departures have been rescheduled to allow visitors to maximize their time in the area. An ARGO is an 8-wheel all terrain vehicles capable of traversing water, ice, deep snow and steep mountain terrain in practically any conditions - perfect for a journey through the rugged and spectacular Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.
As part of a new Hermitage Activities ‘combo package’ guests can choose to extend the day’s outdoor adventure by including an ‘up close and personal’ tour of the magnificent icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake aboard a Glacier Explorers boat-tour.
Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Village Limited General Manager Tourism Denis Callesen says re-structuring the 4WD and ARGO tour gave guests much more flexibility and the opportunity to enjoy the land and water based tours in the same day.
“Visitors are always staggered by the incredible views on the off-road tours – particularly those from spectacular vantage points overlooking the Tasman Glacier and Terminal Lake. They’ve often been disappointed to not be able to fit the Glacier Explorers tour into the same day. We’ve addressed this by incorporating these two unique trips into one combo package.” he said.
Mr Callesen said the 2010/2011 summer promised amazing experiences of nature in action with the Terminal Lake full of huge icebergs following a massive ‘calving’ in September.
“A shift in the glacier's terminal face caused millions of tons of ice to break away and those ‘bergs are now floating in the Lake. Taking in the views and learning about glacial processes from the land, and then boarding a boat to examine icebergs at incredibly close range with an understanding of the process, makes for a very, very special experience we have not previously been able to offer.”
Tasman Valley 4WD and Argo Tours operate in a unique, alpine environment. During the spring and summer months visitors can see an abundance of Mount Cook Lilies, Golden Spaniard Spear Grass and many delicate mountain flowers. Visitors also have the chance to catch a glimpse of the world's only 'mountain parrot' - New Zealand's “cheeky” Kea.
Those on the ‘combo’ experience connect from the 4WD and Argo Tour with their Glacier Explorers trip at Blue Lakes car park (approx 80 minutes after leaving The Hermitage Hotel). The three-hour Tasman Valley 4WD and Argo Tour is still available on request.
Visitors can take the Glacier Explorers part of their ‘combo’ trip later the same day or the following day.