Five of New Zealand’s Best Glaciers to Explore

While it’s great to visit New Zealand and explore its cities like Auckland or Wellington, the country also has many adventurous outdoor activities and sights to explore during your trip to New Zealand such as the New Zealand Glaciers.

Giant rivers of ice, known as glaciers, are located in some of the coldest and harshest environments in the world, which can prove quite difficult to access. However, travelers who are desperate to see these frozen moving ice giants bring along their snow gear and travel to New Zealand, home to many glaciers in it’s national parks around the country, predominantly on the western coast of the south island.

Best New Zealand Glaciers: Tasman Glacier Lake with Iceberg
Tasman Glacier Lake with Iceberg: Photo on Flickr by Erik Wilde / CC BY-SA 2.0

5 of the Best New Zealand Glaciers

The Fox Glacier

The Fox Glacier is located in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park in western New Zealand and is stretched across a massive 13 kilometers. Moving along at about  a meter per week, this giant ice river is slowly making its way down a 2.6 km descent to finish up at about 300m above sea level. The Fox Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world, attracting around 1000 visitors per day,bringing their cameras for a great shot from one of the park’s many lookouts, in the peak tourist season.

Best New Zealand Glaciers: Fox Glacier
Fox Glacier: Photo Flying Kiwi ToursCC BY 2.0

The Rob Roy Glacier

The Rob Roy Glacier is what is known as a hanging glacier that contributes to a larger glacier through an avalanche, usually located on the edge of a cliff. The Rob Roy Glacier is located in the Mount Aspiring National Park in the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s south island and has attracted many tourists over the years since the 1920’s.

Best New Zealand Glaciers: Rob Roy Glacier
Rob Roy Glacier: Photo Madeleine Deaton / CC BY 2.0

The Tasman Glacier

The Tasman Glacier is New Zealand’s largest glacier that is a vast 27 km in length. At it’s widest point, it is a huge 4 km wide and 600 meters deep with ice. The glacier is entirely contained within the Mount Cook National Park and flows from the southern side of the Minarets peak.

Best New Zealand Glaciers: Tasman Glacier
Tasman Glacier: Photo on Flickr by Janko Luin / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Mueller Glacier

The Mueller Glacier also located in the Mount Cook National Park, was named after the German-Australian Botanist Baron von Mueller. When visiting the Mueller Glacier, travelers can go kayaking alongside the glacier itself in the Mueller lake for a different perspective on the ice giant.

Best New Zealand Glaciers: Mueller Lake and Huddleston Glacier
Mueller Lake and Huddleston Glacier: Photo Portengaround / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Hooker Glacier

The Hooker Glacier is one of the smaller glaciers of New Zealand, measuring just 11 km long, in comparison to it’s neighbour, the Tasman Glacier.

Best New Zealand Glaciers: Hooker Lake and Glacier with Mt Cook
Hooker Lake and Glacier with Mt Cook: Photo on Flickr by Toby Tamar / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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