Sightseeing from a small plane or helicopter on a scenic flight will give you the ultimate view of New Zealand's spectacular geography.
Flightseeing in a helicopter or small sightseeing plane is a memorable way to see some of New Zealand’s most famous places and discover its hidden gems.
From the majesty of Milford Sound to the snow-covered slopes of the central North Island volcanoes and shimmering blue waters of the Bay of Islands, you can watch as our incredible landscapes unfold in front of you.
A trip by helicopter or float plane is also ideal for landing in more remote locations, like on a West Coast glacier or a secluded beach in the Marlborough Sounds.
There’s a wide variety of scenic flight options available around New Zealand. These range from 15-minute helicopter rides over a city, to two-hour flights to view the stunning Southern Alps, or luxury full day tours complete with gourmet picnics or vineyard visits. There are even trips to heli-hike on a glacier, or heli-ski in remote locations.
New Zealand’s spectacular coastline, lakes and waterways are stunning from the air. See Northland’s golden beaches, the rugged black sands of Auckland’s west coast, and the massive expanse of Lake Taupo. In the South Island, soar above the jewel-like inlets of the Marlborough Sound, trace the winding braids of Canterbury’s Waimakariri River and marvel at the untouched wilderness of Doubtful and Milford Sounds.
Mountains and glaciers
The imposing Southern Alps in the South Island make for amazing views from the air – see New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki Mount Cook, and even stop on the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. Wanaka’s Mount Aspiring also offers the chance for high altitude alpine landings and glacier views.
Volcanoes and geothermal areas
The North Island is full of amazing volcanic and geothermal landscapes. A trip over Auckland reveals its 48 dormant and extinct volcanic cones, while the central North Island is home to the awe-inspiring trio of Mounts Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu and Tongariro. See the steam rise across Rotorua with its hot pools and bush-edged lakes and take a scenic flight over active volcano Whakaari White Island (Note: Scenic flights no longer land here.)
New Zealand is home to world-class golf courses, vineyards, fishing, wellness retreats and luxury lodges. Take a tour or chart your own course and arrive in style by private helicopter to experience some of the best of New Zealand hospitality from expert guides and hosts.
Where to find scenic flights
A scenic flight is a great way to see as much of Aotearoa New Zealand as you can.
New Zealand’s diverse landscape means scenic flights are available in most regions. The most popular spots are Northland and Auckland, the central North Island, Nelson and Marlborough, Canterbury, the West Coast, Queenstown and Fiordland.
Together, these regions offer beautiful coastlines, sweeping beaches, volcanic cones, glassy lakes, ancient forests, geothermal wonders, mountain ranges, glaciers and fjords.
New Zealand’s most popular scenic flights
Hotspots for scenic flights that will leave you speechless include: