Blue Lakes Track

  • Walking

View New Zealand's longest glacier, the mighty Haupapa/Tasman Glacier on one of the Department of Conservation's best short walks.

  • The 27 km Tasman glacier is the longest in New Zealand.
  • The rifleman, New Zealand’s smallest bird.

Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier View 

Time: 40 min return
Gradient: Gradual incline with rock steps

From the car park, walk past the Blue Lakes shelter and continue up past the Blue Lakes to a viewpoint on the moraine wall. There are good views of the lower Haupapa/Tasman Glacier and lake, icebergs and the mountains at the head of the valley.

A side trip to the Blue Lakes offers good swimming in summer and a chance to see New Zealand smallest bird, the ever-chirpy rifleman.

Nature and conservation

Tasman Glacier Lake is a relatively recent addition to the scene, starting its formation in 1974 and growing steadily since then. The large terminal moraines mark the foot of the Tasman Glacier at the time of the lake’s formation and are a sobering reminder of the glacier’s retreat.


  • Rapidly changing weather – this walk is in an alpine region.
Be prepared

Ensure you take:

  • sturdy footwear.

How to get here

Turn off SH80 onto Tasman Valley Road just before Aoraki/Mount Cook Village. Follow this for about 7 km to the car park at the end.

Track Elevation

Map of Track

More information

DOC Short Walks Brochure -
Mountain Safety Council Plan My Trip
Page last updated: Sep 8, 2020, 3:40 PM