A New Zealand helicopter tour is the best way to see this incredible country, a land of extremes.
Towering peaks, glaciers, breathtaking fiords, and volcanoes define the diverse islands of New Zealand. Much of New Zealand’s landscapes are so extreme they have never been touched by humans. This is especially true around Fiordland National Park, where impenetrable rainforest swathes towering peaks. Similarly, the vertical cliff faces in the Aoraki/Mt Cook area defy even the bravest mountaineers.
Helicopters are commonplace around New Zealand, used for everything from pest control to wilderness rescues. Consequently, helicopter tours in New Zealand are surprisingly affordable.
A helicopter flight is sure to be a highlight of your New Zealand vacation–read on for tips on choosing the best one.
Many of our guided tour packages include helicopter flights. If you are interested in experiencing a New Zealand helicopter tour, choose from the tours linked below, listed by destination.
We can also customise any itinerary to add a helicopter tour of your choice. Most offer flexible departures based on your schedule; therefore, these are easy to fit in any itinerary.
A few regions around New Zealand have emerged as the most popular helicopter tour destinations. Most are on the South Island, which is the most mountainous part of New Zealand.
These include Queenstown, Franz Josef/Fox Glacier, Aoraki/Mt Cook, and Te Anau.
On the North Island, the volcanic Tongariro National Park is a popular place for flightseeing tours.
Queenstown is conveniently situated within a short flight of many of New Zealand’s most scenic regions.
Though it takes 5 hours to drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound, the iconic fiord is just a short hop from Queenstown by helicopter. As a result, most of Fiordland National Park and Mt Aspiring National Park is within easy access by helicopter.
Popular helicopter tour destinations include the famous Earnslaw Burn (an alpine valley with dozens of waterfalls cascading from a hanging glacier), the Remarkables Range, Lord of the Rings filming destinations around Queenstown, and Milford Sound.
Holiday packages including a Queenstown helicopter tour:
Franz Josef and Fox Glacier are both small towns on the West Coast, each with easy access to a glacier.
Helicopter tours from these towns offer an affordable short flight onto the glacier with a snow landing. Longer flights loop around both glaciers, with awe-inspiring views of Aoraki/Mt Cook and nearby peaks, or you can opt for a glacier heli hike for more time on the glacier.
Holiday packages including a Franz Josef/Fox Glacier helicopter tour:
Just on the opposite side of the divide from Franz Josef and Fox Glacier lies Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. Helicopter tours in this region take towering mountains, endless glacial terrain, turquoise lakes, and braided rivers. As with Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, snow landings and glacier heli hikes are on offer.
Holiday packages including an Aoraki/Mt Cook helicopter tour:
The gateway to Fiordland National Park, Te Anau is just a short flight away from New Zealand’s most dramatic fiords. Helicopter tours take in the vast wilderness of Fiordland National Park, including Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, and Lake Te Anau.
Holiday packages including a Te Anau helicopter tour:
Tongariro National Park is an otherworldly volcanic wonderland full of twisted lava formations and towering cone-shaped peaks. If an 8-hour hike over the gruelling Tongariro Alpine Crossing doesn’t sound appealing, a helicopter tour is the perfect way to experience one of the world’s most spectacular volcanic regions.
Many of our North Island tour packages include a floatplane flight over Mt Ruapehu. However, this can be swapped for a helicopter flight.
Many other beautiful regions around New Zealand are best seen by air. A few of our holiday packages include these less common helicopter tours. For example, these might explore the scenery around regions such as Rotorua.
Holiday packages including other helicopter tours:
Finally, for luxury holiday packages including exclusive, customized New Zealand helicopter tours, visit our New Zealand Luxury Escapes brand.
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