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I thought I knew “scenic flights.” When Arch from Air Rangitata pointed out the critical difference – between “flightseeing” and “The Air Rangitata Experience” – I couldn’t get on board fast enough.
Based in Mid Canterbury (transfers from Christchurch Airport), Air Rangitata takes you into New Zealand’s most special places – in minutes.
· Aoraki Mt Cook (NZ’s highest peak) is accessed by Air Rangitata within 35 minutes. It is the flagship of this World Heritage Area along with New Zealand’s longest glaciers and 25 other peaks over 10,000 feet, which form the backbone of the South Island’s Southern Alps.
· From Air Rangitata’s base, it’s only 90 minutes to majestic Milford Sound.
· How about the West Coast? Pack a picnic and in 45 minutes, you’ll land at Fox Glacier.
They offer complete flexibility with flights and times to suit; this is a friendly family-run business that makes your comfort their top priority.
Before flying, I had a look at their photo gallery to help “choose my adventure.” (Charter flights can be anywhere from 15 minutes to a few days).
Heading across the main alpine divide to the headwaters of the snowfed, braided Rakaia River. The Rangitata Gorge is one of NZ’s best-kept secrets; this birds-eye view, taking in historic Mesopotamia and Erewhon Stations, will take your breath away. It’s the best chance (and perspective) for having a look at Mt Sunday, made famous by Lord of the Rings; how about the Garden of Eden? This is a huge pristine ice field that many passengers call the highlight of any NZ flight.
According to Air Rangitata’s Arch and Norma King: “We have lived all our life in this area and love showing people our awesome country.
“We’ve never had anyone fly with us who hasn’t been thrilled,” Arch adds.
It’s no wonder.
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