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Date: June 28th, 2022, Posted by marketing

You will experience a snow landing high up on the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier and stand amongst the “natural silence” of this very special place. Feel as free as a bird as you gaze across the horizon and catch views of the incredible West Coast and wild Tasman Sea.

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The Ultimate Escape Package

Date: April 19th, 2022, Posted by marketing

Experience the best of Aoraki/Mount Cook with a majestic experience for two!

Enjoy 2 nights’ accommodation at the iconic Hermitage Aoraki/Mount Cook hotel. The perfect base in the heart of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Discover the colourful history of this region with complimentary passes to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, a world class centre comprising of a museum and theatre.  

On Day Two, take to the skies from Aoraki/ Mount Cook airport. You will be taken on an impressive helicopter journey across snow-capped glittering peaks including New Zealand’s highest Aoraki/Mt Cook. View blue ice, hanging glaciers and the world-famous West Coast glaciers of Fox and Frans Josef.  Followed by a snow landing high up on the Tasman Glacier New Zealand’s longest kōpaka (glacier).  Enjoy a delicious gourmet platter and drinks amongst the “natural silence” of this special place.

Life really doesn’t get any better than this!

  • Two night’s stay at The Hermitage Hotel in a premium room, including breakfast
  • Complimentary museum & theater passes
  • Aoraki/ Mt Cook Ultimate Scenic flight
  • Beautiful gourmet platter and drinks at glacier landing

T&C

Our team will look at the weather forecast and contact you prior to talk though options and pick the best weather window for your flight. If the weather is looking doubtful, we will give you the options to re-schedule the package at no charge up to 48hrs prior to arrival. The scenic flight is fully refundable if cancelled due to weather.

Cancelation policy for The Hermitage Hotel.

  • Cancellation up to 48 hrs prior to Arrival results in zero cancellation costs
  • Cancellation within 48 hrs of arrival incur cancellation fees equivalent to one nights accommodation charge equal to that of cancelled room
  • No show/premature departure shall result in full cancellation charges along with any associated Meal charges

Please note the price listed are Share with Others If you would prefer to book an exclusive flight, please let us know at the time of booking and we will confirm the cost with you. This package is a special rate for direct bookings no further discount available.

Rates valid until 30 September 2022

Posted in: Deals, Experiences, Glacier / Snow Landing, Picnics

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Our Top 5 Helicopter Tours on the South Island

Date: January 31st, 2022, Posted by marketing

If you think of unique and luxurious experiences, helicopter rides will come to mind. The, what seems like hassle free, means of transportation lifts up into the sky like an elevator. With the ability to land almost anywhere, you’ll receive 360 degrees of panoramic views. This definitely is a must-do experience, and what better place to do it than in the stunning Aotearoa. We have accumulated a list of our top 5 helicopter tours on the South Island, to make your ride extraordinary.

Fiordland Heli Hike

Dense forests, hidden alpine lakes and stretching mountain ranges make up Fiordland National Park’s astonishing beauty and appeal to outdoor lovers and keen hikers. The Fiordland Heli Hike delivers unforgettable views across the park, and a one-of-a-kind hiking experience. Fly over the remote Kepler Mountains and touch down at the Luxmore Hut. Gaze over the South Arm of Lake Te Anau before beginning your hike on the Kepler Great Walk trail. Mount the Luxmore Summit before descending to the shores of Lake Te Anau. Return to Te Anau via a beautiful boat trip. This trip is truly the all-in-one experience and offers the perfect tasting platter of Fiordland.

Fly over steep peaks and tall trees, discovering a new side of Fiordland
Fly over steep peaks and tall trees, discovering a new side of Fiordland

Heli Ski in Queenstown

The ultimate experience for the adventurous skier or snowboarder; Heli skiing. Book between 3 to 10 runs of up to 1.3km long treeless slopes. Ski through sheltered basins, bowls, and wide rolling mountain flanks. Helicopter to mountaintops not reachable by lifts and enjoy the freedom to set your own pace. If you are confident and comfortable on the slopes, and if avalanche conditions permit, there is the opportunity to access steeper terrain, chutes, and glaciers, making this truly an unforgettable day of snow adventures!

Conquer untouched mountains and experience the best slope runs in your life
Conquer untouched mountains and experience the best slope runs in your life Photo Credit: Harris Mountains Heli-Ski

Alps 2 Ocean Bike Transfer and Glacier landing

One of New Zealand’s most iconic cycle tracks is the Alps 2 Ocean trail. From the highest mountains, past great lakes, and rivers, and down to the ocean, this trail links the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean and is on the bucket list of many bicyclers. And what better way to kick off this amazing journey than by jumping on a breath-taking scenic flight through the Southern Alps, gazing across steep mountain caps, dark valleys, and low clouds. Land and explore the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s largest glacier, with snow year-round. Once airborne again, get transferred with your bike across the Tasman River to Black Point, the starting point of your cycle journey.  

Discover the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier via an incredible helicopter tour
Discover the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier via an incredible helicopter tour

Whale Watching Helicopter Tour

Located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island lays Kaikōura. A small coastal town, known for its abundant wildlife and famous for is sperm whale population. Kaikōura is said to be the best place in New Zealand for whale watching and one of the top spots in the entire world! Booking a helicopter ocean safari will give you the ability to observe the amazing wildlife from above, giving you the opportunity to see the entire whale and orbit around them. Depending on the time of the year, you might also be lucky and see Humpback whales, Southern right whales, Killer whales, and even Blue whales!

Gain a new perspective on the marvellous sea life on Aotearoa’s Coast
Gain a new perspective on the marvellous sea life on Aotearoa’s Coast Photo Credit: South Pacific Helicopters

Try Yourself Out at Flying!

Have you ever wanted to try flying a helicopter yourself? Book a Helicopter Trial Fly and give it a go! Step into the cockpit with your experienced instructor after receiving a comprehensive pre-flight briefing and get guided through the take off. Experience the feeling of complete freedom during your flight and master the landing phases of the helicopter. This can be the dream-come-true experience for yourself, or the best present for your partner, friend, or family member!

Be in control and develop your skills in flying
Be in control and develop your skills in flying Photo Credit: Christchurch Helicopters

New Zealand’s South Island is filled with spectacular spots, unique landscapes, and must-see experiences. Discovering the beauty via a helicopter tour will enable you to observe those iconic spots from a new perspective, finding more details and falling deeper in love with our beautiful backyard.

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Aoraki Panorama

Date: October 5th, 2021, Posted by marketing

Explore the Southern Alps with this limited-time flight deal!

Enjoy a taster of the scenery Aoraki/ Mt Cook is so famous for with a short adventure into remote and untamed Southern Alps. Take advantage of this ‘Must-Do’ special offer.

  • Experience a high alpine landing
  • Views of Aoraki/ Mt Cook
  • View hanging glaciers
  • See Icebergs on the Tasman Terminal Lake

Departing Aoraki Mt Cook airport , the journey begins by soaring over carved icebergs of the Tasman Terminal Lake and high over the Liebig range and the Murchison Glacier. Soak up views of this incredible alpine environment.

We land at a high alpine location – take a breath of crisp alpine air and enjoy rugged mountain views out over Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park

The perfect scenic flight ‘sampler’ & a great way to get a feel for the grandeur of the Southern Alps landscapes.

Please note all prices listed are Share with Others and no further discount available. If you would prefer to book an exclusive flight, please let us know at the time of booking and we will confirm the cost with you.

Posted in: Deals

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Best helicopter flights in the South Island

Date: March 1st, 2021, Posted by marketing

Exploring the South Island by helicopter is truly one of the best ways to appreciate the dramatic beauty of the place. Mountains cover two-thirds of the land, and soaring through the air you will see that the mountains are peppered with steep glacial valleys, lakes, forests, fiords, snow and high-country stations. There are picture-perfect sandy bays in the north and wild rugged coasts in the south. We have put together the best places to take a scenic helicopter flight in the South Island – they’re all exhilarating, and all incredibly beautiful, so take your pick.

Fiordland

Fiordland’s beauty is immense: towering peaks sit at the top of U-shaped glacier-carved valleys, which drop into peaceful rain-forested fiords. The sheer rock faces are breath-taking, and after rain they cascade with waterfalls. Soaring around the place by helicopter feels surreal, many of the most beautiful areas in this region are so remote, they’re nearly impossible to get to by car or on foot; which makes Fiordland a region where a scenic flight is an absolute must-do.

The scale of Fiordland is best seen from the air – truly epic!

Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

The landscape of Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park is the definition of grandeur. The place is packed with snow-capped glittering peaks (including New Zealand’s highest, Mt Cook), and interspersed by glaciers, which you will see when you explore the area by scenic helicopter flight (for example, on our 55 min flight which takes in all the major glaciers). We land for a little while on the Tasman Glacier – New Zealand’s largest – and there you can play in the snow on the glacier’s vast surface even in the middle of summer.

Its no sweat to explore the massive Southern Alps in a plane or helicopter.

Queenstown

With many scenes in Lord of the Rings filmed in these parts, it goes without saying that this town is set amongst impossible beauty: built on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, it has a backdrop of the Remarkables mountain range jutting into the skies. Within short flying distance are pristine alpine lakes, backcountry glaciers, and rugged snow tussock country. Outside the town you will see pretty rolling farmland and vineyards, and the blue waters of the Shotover River carving deep through the landscape. From the air you can also have a nosy at the exquisite builds low on the slopes – many of them private lodges or extravagant holiday homes overlooking the lake – and the high-country merino stations, many of them remote and some are even accessed by lake ferry.

Marlborough Sounds

The Marlborough Sounds is thick with vibrant native forests covering mountains and rolling hills, with a myriad of sandy turquoise bays. There are so many of these secluded, picture-perfect beaches, that it is like a maze: you will certainly get an appreciation of the scale of it by helicopter. Wildlife abounds. There are scenic reserves and predator free islands holding kiwi and other native birds like shags and penguins, plus bats, tuatara, gecko and native frogs. Looking down into the sea you might spot stingrays, dolphins, seals and even sometimes orca or whales.

Kaikoura

There is nothing better than soaring out over the Kaikoura canyon – this deep chasm is incredibly biologically rich, and this food brings many species of whales in to feed. Because the canyon is unusually close to shore (for a canyon this deep), it makes Kaikoura a great place to go whale watching by helicopter. Here, you will be whisked out over Te Rohe o Te Whānau Puha/the Kaikōura Whale Sanctuary, with exhilarating views of the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges, the Kaikoura Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean. Down below you might see whales (Humpback, Southern Right, orca and even blue whales), but also dusky dolphins and New Zealand fur seals – and pilot will circle round for a better look while providing insightful commentary.

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Mt Cook from the air: what to expect

Date: January 5th, 2021, Posted by marketing

The Mount Cook area is one of the best places in New Zealand to take a scenic flight. So what can you expect when you’re being taken for that exhilarating ride in a helicopter with Heliworks Mount Cook? Whether it’s glacier landings or expert commentary, there’s quite a lot you can expect from a flight.

Of course, you’ll fly over countless snowy peaks and have unparalleled views of the highest mountain in New Zealand, Aoraki/Mount Cook. With your bird’s eye view you can appreciate just how much higher it is than the surrounding peaks – and why its Maori name means “cloud piercer”. You will also get views of the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers (on the Ultimate experience flight) and your helicopter will whisk you up the enormous valley leading to the Tasman Glacier.

Tasman Glacier landing

You will land on the upper reaches of the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s largest. You can disembark from the helicopter to admire this vast expanse of rock and ice – the glacier is truly massive (in some places 4km wide and 600m thick). Touching the snow is an amazing experience in itself – it’s a year-round winter wonderland, even when the ski fields have no snow at all (and no ski field compares to the size of the Tasman anyway).

Commentary

Expert commentary of the area will be provided by your pilot – he or she will be speaking to you inflight via your microphone-equipped headphones. The conversation will be casual, and you can expect to learn about the way the glacier thaws, the history of the area, various points of interest – feel free to ask your own questions through the microphone, our pilots are very friendly!

Safety briefing

Expect a comprehensive safety briefing before you depart. Safety is of course our biggest priority, with strict adherence to the safety standards set by the Civil Aviation.

Experiences

Finally you can expect to have an amazing experience whether you choose from our 35, 45, or 55 min flights – all flights follow a similar circle and fly over the Tasman glacier, but the longer flights extend further, and the 55min flight will take you the entire length of the Tasman Glacier.

Armed with this information on what to expect, you can now expect to have your expectations exceeded when you’re actually in the air with us at Heliworks Mount Cook – whopping along on chopper above one of the most beautiful and impressive alpine areas in the world, no words can quite describe the feeling: you’ve got to just experience it for yourself.

Posted in: Blog

The ultimate 1-day itinerary when visiting Mt Cook

Date: December 8th, 2020, Posted by marketing

So, you’ve got the chance to visit the stunning Mt Cook area – but you’ve only got one day, what to do?! You’re in luck, we’ve prepared the ultimate 1-day itinerary that would give you more than a taster of the Mt Cook surrounds and leave you feeling like you’ve truly gotten to know this incredible place. It’s going to be a ride so buckle up…

Morning:

Start your action-packed day with an Alpine Breakfast buffet at the Hermitage Hotel where the generous portions will certainly fuel you up. The tables have amazing views of Aoraki / Mt Cook.

Pack lunch and a thermos, and head up the Hooker Valley Track. This 3-hour return day-walk takes you over swing bridges, forest, tussock and up to the iceberg-filled Hooker Lake, with views of Aoraki / Mt Cook and the Hooker Glacier. There’s the occasional cheeky kea so make sure your belongings/snacks are secure – these birds are as smart as chimps! In summer it is best to tackle this track early before it gets too hot, plus you get to see the glorious morning rays reflecting off the mountain.

Midday:

Find a good spot for a picnic lunch on the Hooker Track. If you’re ahead of the game and have sped back down the track already, you could always enjoy a beverage at the Snowline Bar at the Hermitage.

Early afternoon:

Take a scenic flight. Heliworks Mt Cook has a range of packages that all provide an exhilarating air exploration of the area in all its grandeur: deep valleys, snow-covered peaks, glittering rivers and emerald forest. Some packages, such as our Mt Cook and Tasman Glacier Experience even land the helicopter atop the Tasman Glacier to explore and play in the snow (the snow is there all year round – take some warm clothes and gloves!).

Dinner:

Grab yourself a hearty organic meal at the Old Mountaineers Café – a large place with a warm and rustic atmosphere, friendly staff, cold beverages, and delicious meat or vegetarian menu options. They display a whole range of historic photos inside. In the winter season, closing times may vary so make sure you check in with the hosts beforehand.

Evening:

If you’re staying the night, head out stargazing. Because the area is an official Dark Sky Reserve (no light pollution), on a clear night the sky is lit up by stars and nebula like nothing you have ever seen. If you want to learn more about what you’re seeing, the Hermitage has a resident astronomer who can bring it to life with telescopes.

If you’re leaving that night, however, make sure you stop your vehicle at Peters Lookout at the end of Lake Pukaki, before the sun goes down. This is THE postcard shot where Mt Cook is seen in its full glory above the lake and a fitting finish to an epic One Day at Mt Cook.

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6 THINGS YOU CAN’T MISS WHEN VISITING MT COOK

Date: November 13th, 2020, Posted by marketing

The Mt Cook area is one of the most visually spectacular areas of our country. Our highest mountain Aoraki Mount Cook juts fiercely into the skies, and other jagged peaks hide various snow-covered glaciers, including the mighty Tasman Glacier. This was the landscape that taught Sir Edmund Hillary the skills to summit Mt Everest. If you’re visiting the area, we’ve got a list of 6 unmissable experiences – from scenic flights to museums to stargazing.

1. HOOKER VALLEY WALK

This day walk leads up through the spectacular Hooker Valley, crossing three swing bridges over the Hooker River. It winds between moraine (glacial debris) ridges and humps, and through tussock and forest. It finishes at the Hooker Lake at the foot of the Hooker Glacier, with views up to Aoraki/Mt Cook itself. The lake may even have floating icebergs if the glacier has recently calved. You certainly don’t have to be an athlete to do this walk – the track is an easy 3-hour return and the many wooden walkways are well maintained by DOC. Look out for cheeky kea and the Mount Cook buttercup/kōpukupuku (the world’s largest buttercup).

2. SCENIC FLIGHT

The best way to take in the full grandeur of the landscape is scenic flight by helicopter. At Heliworks Mount Cook we have a whole range of exhilarating packages that all whisk you away over glittering peaks and deep valleys, with some flights landing in the year-round snow on top of the Tasman Glacier.

3. MUSEUM AND SIR EDMOND HILLARY ALPINE CENTRE, AT THE HERMITAGE HOTEL

The theatre here has 2D, 3D and a Digital Dome planetarium, and it screens movies ranging from Sir Edmund Hillary, to prehistoric New Zealand, to a 3D Aoraki animation. In the small adjoining museum, visitors (especially those that might have had relatives with a mountaineering background) will find it amazing to view all the old climbing gear, and the history behind it all. Aviation enthusiasts will love seeing the first ski plane to land on the Tasman Glacier (it’s hanging from the ceiling). 

4. SEALY TARNS

If you’re game for a workout, head behind the village and brave the 2,200-step “stairway to heaven” that leads up to the freshwater lakes of Sealy Tarns. You will be well-rewarded for the effort, with epic views of the Hooker Valley and its peaks including Aoraki/Mt Cook, and in the summer you will be treated to gorgeous alpine flowers. The Red Tarns, up another steep track, is equally as insta-worthy at the top, and the tarns are coloured by a red pond weed.

5. HELI-HIKING

This is one of the most epic and intrepid guided experiences you can have in the Mt Cook area. Your helicopter lands on the lower moraine-covered reaches of the Tasman Glacier. There you ascend by foot onto the glacier, equipped with harnesses and crampons, following your guide’s lead. They will be looking for ice caves, deep blue holes in the ice that can spontaneously form overnight with the glacier’s movements (you rarely see these from the air – so being on the ground is key). Your guide will lead you inside them if deemed safe. The caves sometimes lead deep into the glacier, and sometimes fully connect two areas of moraine so you can walk right through.

6. STARGAZING

The Mt Cook area is almost completely free from light pollution (in 2012, 4300sq km was declared the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve) and so of course the stars glitter with an intensity rarely able to be seen in other areas. If you want an immersive night sky experience, the Hermitage Hotel has a resident astronomy guide who will take you out with telescopes and tell you all about the stars and other wonders of the night sky (weather dependent of course).

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6 THINGS YOU CAN’T MISS WHEN VISITING MT COOK

 

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