Freshly caught crayfish on your exclusive West Coast helicopter flight.
Freshly caught crayfish on this West Coast helicopter flight.

These exclusive New Zealand helicopter flights offer a birds eye view of New Zealand’s top locations, views and stunning landscapes. You’ll really get off the beaten track and up close to remote and unique locations, otherwise not possible to access via road. Below are our some of our top recommendations for exclusive one or two day helicopter adventures in New Zealand. If you want to see the very best of New Zealand over an extended period, then our exclusive New Zealand helicopter vacation could be for you.

“Best of the West” West Coast – Fiordland – Milford and more

This helicopter tour takes in the best of the South Islands West Coast. Departing in luxury you’ll fly over a multitude of snow capped mountains, glaciers, lakes, and ancient river valleys. En-route to the West Coast of New Zealand you’ll land on a remote beach. Enjoy a paddle in the many rock pools while looking for one of New Zealand’s great delicacies the infamous “Paua” aka, Abalone. Or watch your personal guide freedive for the many bounties that are harvested from the ocean. If you’re lucky there’ll be fresh crayfish cooked on the BBQ for lunch!

Enjoy a seaside, mountain top picnic or BBQ with a fabulous New Zealand wine to follow! This makes for a wonderful interlude prior to setting off to explore the Fiordland National Park. More glaciers, snow capped mountains and alpine lakes will be seen. Follow the coast line south to Milford Sound viewing seal colonies and dolphins along the way. Land in the Fiordland National Park and enjoy a short wilderness walk. Or continue your helicopter adventure through the many fiords that this region is famous for. Dusky, Bligh and Doubtful Sounds are just a few of the names in this pristine area. Once your day is finished head back to base in either Wanaka or Queenstown.

Flying through Milford Sound on an exclusive New Zealand helicopter flight in Fiordland National Park
Flying through Milford Sound on an exclusive New Zealand helicopter flight in Fiordland National Park

The Wild North West helicopter experience

This exclusive New Zealand helicopter flight takes you west of Nelson into the heart of the Kahurangi National Park. New Zealand’s newest and second largest national park. You’ll land beside a pristine mountain lake with plenty of time for photo opportunities. Then onwards to Westhaven Inlet and track the rugged West Coast for a landing on the beach. Here you can explore the sand dunes and eroded rock formations. Then lift off and fly towards Farewell Spit followed by Golden Bay and the Abel Tasman National Park. Stop for a leisurely lunch at the remote Awaroa Lodge. What a great way to appreciate the diversity of the North Western tip of New Zealand’s South Island!

Landing the helicopter on a remote beach in Northwest New Zealand
Landing the helicopter on a remote beach in Northwest New Zealand

The Fiordland helicopter Experience

Operated by Glacier Southern Lakes this exclusive New Zealand helicopter flight traverses Milford and Doubtful Sounds, as well as the lesser known George and Bligh Sounds. Fly west from Queenstown over Lake Wakatipu, above the famous Walter Peak Station. Carry onwards to the stunning waters of Lake Manapouri offering views up the Iris burn, home of the Kepler Track. Across the Wilmot Pass, Doubtful Sound appears, remote and spectacular. Landing amongst the beautiful inlets with dramatic views. Experience the vastness of Doubtful Sound by flying out to the Tasman Sea and fly high above the wild west coast en route to the breathtaking Lake Quill and the 1900 ft Sutherland Falls. 

View the famous Milford Track and McKinnon Pass before flying the length of Milford Sound past sheer cliffs and gushing waterfalls. Experience an exhilarating flight past spectacular mountains and blue-green ice falls, then land upon Mt Tutoko Glacier, an awe inspiring experience with ice formations and crevasses that will astound. Time for a gourmet picnic lunch with local wine in a remote exclusive alpine wilderness area. Then return to Queenstown via Mt Aspiring National Park over the famous Moonlight and Shotover Canyons, rich in gold mining history.

Standing on Sandfly point in Milford Sound after arriving by helicopter
Standing on Sandfly point in Milford Sound after arriving by helicopter

West Coast Glacier helicopter Experience

This West Coast Glacier helicopter experience offers the opportunity to view and touch glacier formations – ice caves, seracs and pinnacles. Making for a truly memorable experience. Combine a hike on the majestic glaciers with a heli flight and really get up close to these true wonders of the word. Your adventure starts with the helicopter flight in. During which you get to take in the majesty of the glacier from the air. Before alighting on a section of the glacier which is usually not reachable by foot alone. 

This part of the glacier is where the forces of change are strongest. Often creating ice caves to be explored and ice arches to walk under. All the glacier hike equipment you need is provided, including sturdy leather boots and the specialist crampons, enabling you to walk easily on the ice. Your guide will lead you to the most dynamic parts of the ice-fall and explain in detail what you are seeing, walking on and how it came to be that way. To be able to walk on Fox Glacier itself, touch the ice and be surrounded by its enormity is genuinely astounding. A really special experience.

Arriving by helicopter at the spectacular Lake Quill with the Sutherland falls in the background.
Arriving by helicopter at the spectacular Lake Quill with the Sutherland falls in the background. Below lies the Milford track.

Experiencing the Stunning Coastlines of the Far North by helicopter..

Travelling by helicopter is just plain fun, and when you combine that with viewing of beautiful islands, beaches, harbours and inlets you really start to appreciate the value of seeing an area from the air. Helicopters also add in the flexibility to land at locations inaccessible any other way.  That’s why heli tours around the Bay of Islands and across the far north to Cape Reinga are a superb way to experience Northland and it’s special places.

For more discerning travellers we offer private tours that will fly along both the west and east coasts of the Northland region. Covering renowned highlights such as 90 Mile Beach, the Bay of Islands, Cavallis and Matauri Bay, Whangaroa Harbour, Parengarenga Harbour and much more. The tours don’t just fly you around though, you also get to stop and enjoy this incredible region. With a privately guided vehicle tour around the Cape Reinga area you’ll avoid the crowds. Enjoy the local knowledge of the guide visiting the Cape Reinga Lighthouse. Then land on a beautiful white-sandy beach and the fun-filled Te Paki sand dunes for tobogganing. You’ll also be hosted near Henderson Bay on the far north east coast for a delicious lunch. While here there is also the opportunity to have some fun quad biking on the white sand beaches.  

Landing on the iconic “Hole in the Rock” Island

One of the unique locations we can get you to on this exclusive helicopter tour is landing on the infamous “Hole in the Rock” in the Bay of Islands. Known by local Maori as “Motu Kokako” this island, with it’s incredible steep cliffs and natural untouched bush, is amazing to land and walk on. You’ll be perched on the very top with sweeping views towards Cape Brett and back towards the islands. This is the only way to set foot on the island, an experience you will surely never forget.

Landing atop Motukokako in the Bay of Islands or better known as Hole in the Rock
Landing atop Motukokako in the Bay of Islands or better known as Hole in the Rock

Luxury Adventures – Tailoring luxury travel in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific Islands since 1999.

Kay Campbell

Originally from the UK, I now call New Zealand my home, relocating 15 years ago with my husband and two children. I have been with Luxury Adventures for 15 years. When not planning perfect vacations and honeymoons for our clients, I enjoy running and recently completed the Queenstown marathon, along with reading, walking in the bush and on the beach with my two dogs and finding new favourite places in New Zealand.

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