Tasman Glacier Heli-Hiking



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New Zealand's Longest and most famous Glacier

Join the Pioneers of Heli Hiking at Aoraki Mt Cook


Southern Alps Guiding pioneered Heli Hiking at Aoraki Mt Cook. Chief guide Charlie Hobbs with over 30 years of guiding experience has explored every inch of the Tasman Glacier and knows the best areas to visit on this incredible journey. Our trips offer small groups and personalised service.

Our guides, Charlie and Ant, are the “Legends” of Tasman Glacier Guiding and have vast amounts of experience and knowledge of the area.

This fly-in, fly-out helihike combines the excitement of walking on the mighty Tasman Glacier and the excitement of two helicopter (or skiplane flights). By flying in you are able to access and explore the white ice of the Tasman Glacier where it runs beside the biggest mountains in New Zealand and where the glacier's forces work hard and often create spectacular ice formations.

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Equipped with sturdy boots and other equipment, you board your helicopter or skiplane for your flight over the ice bergs of the Tasman Glacier Lake then flying past the famous Hochstetter Ice Fall and the east face of the mighty Aoraki Mount Cook.


We then land on the Tasman Glacier  where we begin our adventure and exploration on the ice. Your landing site is a remote and exceptionally beautiful part of the glacier. At this stage, your guide outfits you with crampons, specially designed for these ice conditions and you follow the ice steps cut by your guide as you explore the amazing ice formations and possibly ice caves. Yes ice caves! We’ll disseminate the workings of the Tasman Glacier and how it flows and what makes the crevasses and sink holes appear.

We start at 9.00am and 12.30pm  (high season). There are so many exciting features on the Tasman Glacier and the scenery of the Southern Alps will impress you beyond expectations. Weather permitting, ice walking time is about 2 hours. Please note that this is a natural and ever changing environment. Ice features change constantly and no guarantee can be given that specific features will be seen.

If conditions or weather don't allow us to access the Tasman Glacier we may try our other glacier locations so that you experience an amazing day if possible.



Fitness level required: low to moderate Trip Duration: 3-4 hours

Cost: NZ$565 per person. After June 30 2018 price increases to $575 per person

Cost includes: two helicopter or skiplane flights, guide, boots if required, crampons and ice axe/ski pole.

Minimum of 4 people required (if you have less than 4 people in your group, we will do our best to put you on a trip with other people).

Minimum age is 8 years

We have a secure website for credit card bookings


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This is our famous trip heli trekking on Aoraki Mt Cook and the Grand Plateau Glacier. The scenery will certainly hold you in awe! A spectacular helicopter flight landing right under Aoraki Mount Cook reminds you of the grandeur of the area. We have an exciting glacier trek on the flanks of Aoraki Mount Cook and your guide will teach you to rope up for glacier travel and then it’s time to trek to the Plateau Hut for lunch and great views through the maze of crevasses and amazing scenery. 

Another fabulous helicopter flight from the Plateau Hut to base with great views to finish this great excursion.
COST: NZ$585 per person.


There is a long tradition of glacier hiking at Aoraki Mt Cook. Southern Alps Guiding maintains this strong guiding activity. We look forward to sharing the experience with you.

What to Bring

  • 3 - 4 layers of warm upper body clothing
  • Sunglasses and sun protection.
  • A day pack, a drink and snacks are useful. (we can usually get glacier fed water from the ice pools!)
  • Your own boots and raincoats may be suitable.
  • Warm hat and gloves

We close for the month of June, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.




Learn how to ice climb on New Zealand's biggest glacier, the Tasman. Explore the wonders of this great glacier and have fun doing so. Your guide is going to teach many aspect of ice craft. You'll also take the time to explore fun ice climbing venues on the glacier as well as some ice caves and ice formations.

Start time: 9.00am. We meet at the Old Mountaineers Cafe next door to the DOC visitor information centre.

What to bring: Dress warmly. We can supply all the necessary gear. Bring your lunch or we can supply a lunch.

Cost: $750 per person. Minimum numbers required. CALL US TO MAKE YOUR GROUP BOOKING FOR THIS EXCITING DAY OUT.


Full Day Heli Alpine Trekking Tour - Private Charters

Join us on a beautiful one day expedition to our remarkable destinations. Fly with your guide to either the famous Tasman Glacier or the Grand Plateau by helicopter or the famous Mount Cook Ski Planes. At over 7000ft or 2200 metres, enjoy spectacular views of the east faces of Aoraki Mount Cook and the vast expanse of glacial terrain of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Westland National Parks.


3 - 4 layers of warm upper body clothing
Sunglasses and sun protection.
A day pack, a drink and snacks are useful. (we can usually get glacier fed water from the ice pools!)
Your own boots and raincoats may be suitable.
Warm hat and gloves


The guide will teach you some basic skills, then it is off on the adventure of a lifetime, trekking and hiking down the easy gradient of one of these mighty glaciers. Along the way we'll visit ice caves and view some very large crevasses and view thundering ice-falls and the occasional avalanche - all from a safe distance. We'll be trekking close to spectacular ice-falls. It is stunning scenery and an unforgettable day out. Lunch is included. Bring your camera!


At the end of the day it's another spectacular scenic flight back to Aoraki Mount Cook airport and then we return to The Old Mountaineers' Cafe, Restaurant, Bar & Historic Photographic Gallery, for some well-earned refreshments.

Our glacier destination will be decided on the day after weather and snow conditions have been checked  by your guide.
These trips operate as private charters for private groups or families. Minimum of 4 people required. $790 per person.








Fitness level required: Good level of fitness
Trip Duration: 5-6 hours


Our guides are members of The New Zealand Mountain Guides Association






We reserve the right to cancel or change any part of any trip. This could be due to adverse snow,avalanche, mountain or weather conditions or any other mountain related scenario. We have a strict 36 hour cancellation policy which means that if WE cancel the trip due to any of the above conditions will give you a full refund. If you decide not to do the trip within 36 hours of the trip start time for any reason (you sleep in, have a vehicle breakdown, an unexpected illness or injury etc) or we cancel your booking because of client unsuitability due to poor fitness or health there will be no refund. Please ensure you have travel insurance to cover all potential cancellation scenarios




“Southern Alps Guiding Ltd works with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to ensure that our impact on New Zealand's National Parks and reserves is minimal. We are an approved concession holder, ensuring that your visit with us to conservation lands adheres to best practice and contributes to the management of these protected areas”

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