Scenic Flights - Five of the Best

Everyone should get in a small plane or helicopter at least once on any New Zealand holiday.

Much of New Zealand’s wilderness and grand national parks are inaccessible except to intrepid hikers and the network of small flight operators around the country is essential to seeing these beautiful and remote places.

The volcanic landscapes of the central North Island can be viewed from either Turangi or Taupo. Taupo’s Float Plane offers a unique way of visiting these incredible sights taking off from the surface of Great Lake Taupo to soar over the volcanic lakes and cones of Tongariro, Ruapheu and Ngarahoe.

Further south in Nelson Reid Helicopters will take you to the Food Source on a wild food adventure, landing on a beach to prepare and cook your freshly caught seafood catch. The best lunch ever!

No trip to the West Coast is complete without a flight up onto the glaciers. Fox Glacier Guiding will fly you in for a spectacular heli-hike on the West Coast’s longest glacier. Enjoy up to three hours in this stunning environment with views of Fox Glacier and surrounds. 

Wanaka’s best kept secret is the Matukituki Valley, gateway to Mt Aspiring and Mt Aspiring National Park. A very special trip is to take the jetboat tour of the valley with Wanaka River Journeys deep into the forested heart of the valley, where you are met by your helicopter for a stunning scenic circuit of Mt Aspiring and the Volta and Bonnar glaciers plus a snow landing for photos before rejoining your jetboat  and the journey back out to “civilisation”. 

Last of all is the third island of New Zealand, Stewart Island, our bird sanctuary and your best chance to see kiwi in the wild. Stewart Island flights offer your best access to the island with flights to remote beaches and day hikes as well as regular flights from Invercargill to the Island’s only township of Oban.