Franz, Fox, Stocking and Tasman glaciers (see Fig. 3 for glacier locations) retreated during the twentieth and early twenty first centuries. However, Franz Josef, Fox and Stocking glaciers also experienced periodic re-advances. In this paper we identify the climatological and glaciological drivers of the largest and most recent of these re-advances between 1983 and 2008 (marked by blue shading). The three glaciers that advanced are all steeply inclined and react swiftly and similarly to climate forcing. Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, both >10 km long, flow to the west and north from the major drainage divide (main divide) of the Southern Alps. Stocking Glacier is much shorter than Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, and flows to the east of the main divide. Tasman Glacier has a gentle slope and is the largest and thickest glacier in New Zealand. During the twentieth century, Tasman Glacier experienced continuous thinning, followed by ∼5 km of retreat via pro-glacial lake formation since the 1980s.