The most recent calving took place on Sunday (December 19) following the August calving which was the largest ever seen in the 35 year history of the Tasman Glacier Terminal Face.
Denis Callesen, General Manager Tourism for Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Village Ltd, said the calvings happened after heavy rain and rising lake levels, and that visitors would encounter enormous icebergs and majestic glacier views on the Glacier Explorer journey.
“The scale of the calving in August was just enormous and we knew another would happen over the Christmas period. The storms during the last week have caused the Tasman Lake to rise by five metres and the second calving has come at a perfect time for visitors planning a trip over this summer holidays,” he said.
“We welcome the lake’s newest icebergs – one of which is the third largest. The biggest ‘berg in the lake at the moment measures about 300m by 200m and is 30 metres high – and that’s only the 10% of the berg that we can see. 90% is below the waterline.
“The Glacier Explorers trip is like being in a different world – you’re surrounded by moraine and mountains and cruising on a lake dotted with huge icebergs that are constantly moving, changing shape and rolling over. This is nature in evolution, it’s fascinating and exciting to watch.”
The August calving occurred when the terminal face rose 20 to 40 metres after a heavy rain downpour. Millions of tonnes of ice were lifted from the water across the entire 600m width of the face which led to a small section of that ice to ‘calve,’ resulting in a massive and spectacular iceberg separating from the face. Soon after, the remaining 30-50 million tonnes of ice broke away from under the water-line (basal calving).
Travellers on Glacier Explorers trips can also enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, including Aoraki Mount Cook, and some of the best photographic opportunities available in the national park.
Source = Glacier Explorers / Southern Public Relations Ltd