New Zealand is full of beautiful scenery and there’s no better way to take it in than from the air. Flying by helicopter is unlike any other flying experience and gives you the opportunity to access landscapes that can’t be seen any other way.
There are many helicopter flights to choose from in NZ so we’ve put together our Top 10 picks for you.
1. Fox Glacier
Enjoy an aerial view of New Zealand’s most famous glacier and the beautiful valley it has carved. Many helicopter tours also give you the opportunity to explore the glacier itself with a glacier landing.
Fox Glacier Helicopter Tour. Image Credit: Glacier Helicopters
2. Franz Josef Heli-hike
Combine an exhilarating helicopter ride and amazing scenery with landing on the 12km long glacier for a two hour walk amongst the towering walls of ice, crevasses, blue ice tunnels and ice caves. Every trip with Franz Josef Glacier Guides is unique as the glacier changes from moment to moment.
Franz Josef Heli-hike. Image Credit: Franz Josef Glacier Guides
3. Kaikoura Heli-whale Watch
Kaikoura is known for its whale and dolphin watching. By helicopter you’ll be able to explore the rugged Kaikoura coastline and see an entire whale from head to tail as you circle slowly overhead.
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Humpback Whale, Kaikoura
4. Milford Sound & Fiordland National Park
With spectacular ice-carved fiords, lakes and valleys, and mountains, Fiordland National Park really is one of New Zealand's most dramatic landscapes. For unparalleled views take a helicopter tour from Queenstown, Te Anau or Milford Sound Airport.
Mitre Peak, Milford Sound
5. Bay of Islands
The beautiful Northland coastline and 144 islands of the Bay of Islands make for spectacular aerial viewing. Take a guided tour of The Hole in the Rock or Cape Reinga, or escape to a secluded island while learning about the local history and culture.
Bay of Islands. Image Credit: NorthlandNZ.com
6. Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
The only way to see all the highlights of New Zealand’s highest mountain is by taking a scenic flight. View the Southern Alps, Aoraki Mt. Cook itself, Hooker Valley and Tasman Glacial Lake. You can and even land on Tasman Glacier for a ski adventure.
Aoraki, Mt Cook. Image Credit: Inflite Experiences
For spectacular panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakitipu as well as The Remarkables and Southern Alps a helicopter is the best way to take it all in. Many flights can be personalised to include an alpine landing, Milford Sound, Mt. Cook or Mt. Aspiring.
Queenstown. Image Credit: Helicopter Line
8. Lake Taupo & Tongariro National Park
Fly over New Zealand’s largest lake and take in the iconic sights of Taupo including Huka Falls and the Maori Rock Carvings. Land in the Kaimanawa Forest, fly over the Tongariro crossing or visit Lord of the Rings’ Mt. Doom (Mt. Ngauruhoe).
Tongariro National Park
9. Abel Tasman National Park
Enjoy a stunning scenic flight over the golden beaches and beautiful native forest of Abel Tasman National Park, or give yourself more time to enjoy walking and kayaking in paradise by flying in or out.
Abel Tasman National Park
10. Auckland & Waiheke Island
Auckland is built on top of 50 volcanoes, and with three harbours and 3,700 km of coastline it makes for dramatic aerial viewing. Helicopter tours can include heli-golfing, heli-fishing, and exclusive dining experiences. For vineyards, horseback trekking or ziplining visit Waiheke Island, an easy day-trip from Auckland city.
Auckland. Image Credit: Inflite Experiences