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Canterbury, New Zealand Air & helicopter tours

Our most recommended Canterbury, New Zealand Air & helicopter tours

Kaikoura: Whale Watching Flight

1. Kaikoura: Whale Watching Flight

Enjoy a panoramic whale-watching flight, with stunning scenic views along the spectacular Kaikoura coastline. Only from the air can you appreciate the huge size of the mighty sperm whale, a frequent visitor to the waters off Kaikoura. After a safety briefing and overview of your scenic flight, hop onboard for your whale-watching adventure in the skies. Every passenger gets a guaranteed window seat to enjoy maximum viewing of the ocean and its inhabitants below. On your 40-minute whale-watching flight, you may see sperm whales, dusky dolphins, humpback whales, blue whales, orcas, and other marine life. After finding whales enjoy a scenic flight of Kaikoura and the dramatic surrounding scenery, including snow-clad mountain ranges and turquoise ocean reefs. Whales are wild animals and sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, with 30 years of experience and extensive local knowledge, flights have a 95% success rate. Honest information on the likelihood of spotting a whale will be provided on the day.

Franz Josef Town: Glacier Helicopter Tour with Snow Landing

2. Franz Josef Town: Glacier Helicopter Tour with Snow Landing

Take in some of New Zealand’s most impressive mountains during a helicopter ride. Land among them for even more spectacular views and fantastic photo opportunities. Meet at the local partner’s office to check in and attend a safety briefing. Then, following a transfer to a private hangar, you will meet your pilot and board the helicopter for takeoff. Put your headset on to enjoy your pilot's guided commentary. Fly over the terminal moraine of the ancient Franz Josef Glacier and up the valley over the ice river. Take in the ice pinnacles and crevasses before flying onwards amongst the impressive Southern Alps. Land on an elevated landing site to enjoy stunning views of some of New Zealand’s highest mountains. You will have plenty of time to take incredible photos before returning to the hangar.

Mount Cook: 3 Hour Heli Hike to the Tasman Glacier

3. Mount Cook: 3 Hour Heli Hike to the Tasman Glacier

Enjoy a once in a lifetime heli hiking experience on the Tasman Glacier in the Aoraki (Mount Cook) National Park. Begin your adventure with a flight from Mount Cook airport over the gorgeous Tasman Glacier Lake and ice formations. Venture on to the surprisingly undulating ice terrain, in the shadow of the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, Aoraki, and Mount Tasman. Be equipped with glacier boots and crampons and spend 2 hours in another world in the mountains. On the return flight home, you will fly close to the massive 1,000-meter high Hochstetter Icefall on the eastern face of Aoraki. Take in the picturesque landscapes that are covered in beautiful white snow and ice year round. 

Mount Cook: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Alpine Landing

4. Mount Cook: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Alpine Landing

Experience Mount Cook National Park from the sky. Enjoy a 25-minute scenic adventure that includes an alpine landing amongst the mountains. Have exceptional views of Aoraki (Mt Cook) and the surrounding snow-capped mountain ranges right from take off.  Be captivated throughout the entire flight. Explore the valleys and peaks of the national park. Journey through the Tasman Valley and over a breathtaking blue glacier lake. Experience an alpine landing on the stunning upper snowfields in the Southern Alps.  Disembark the aircraft and enjoy the elevated alpine landscape before returning to the helicopter to fly back to Mount Cook Airport. Your expert pilot will offer informative and interesting commentary throughout the flight to ensure you receive the best possible experience.

Franz Josef Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

5. Franz Josef Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

Take in three of New Zealand’s most impressive glaciers during a helicopter ride. Land on the elevated snow landing site to take photos of the spectacular views. Meet at the local partner’s office to check in and attend a safety briefing. Then, following a transfer to a private hangar, you will meet your pilot and board the helicopter for takeoff. Put your headset on to listen to your pilot's guided commentary. Fly over the terminal moraine of the ancient Franz Josef Glacier and up the valley to see the big three from above. The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are ice rivers that plug New Zealand's longest glacier: the Tasman Glacier. Take in their ice pinnacles and crevasses while flying amongst some of New Zealand’s biggest mountains. Admire Mount Cook in the impressive Southern Alps. Land on an elevated snow landing site to enjoy stunning views of Westland Tai Poutini National Park for 15 minutes. You will have plenty of time to take photos before returning to the hangar.

Mount Cook: Ski Plane and Helicopter Alpine Combo Flight

6. Mount Cook: Ski Plane and Helicopter Alpine Combo Flight

Fly in a ski plane and a helicopter on the same day for an unforgettable experience of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Enjoy a scenic adventure that includes a glacier snow landing. From take-off to landing, enjoy spectacular views. Fly up the Tasman Valley over the breathtaking blue glacier lake. See the Hochstetter Icefall and the cloud-piercing Aoraki/Mount Cook before landing on the upper snowfields of the Tasman Glacier.  Take time to enjoy this unique alpine environment. These mountains are covered in snow and ice all year round, and the aircraft fully shuts down on landing.  Then, swap aircraft and return to Mount Cook Airport. During the tour, you'll also see Tasman Terminal Lake, Grand Plateau, Plateau Hut, as well as the full length of the Tasman Glacier.

Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

7. Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

Journey into the Southern Alps for this once in a lifetime helicopter flight over the Fox Glacier. Begin your adventure at the helicopter base in Fox Glacier Township, where you will be greeted by your expert team. As you take off in your helicopter, be amazed by the panoramic views over the town and surrounding landscapes before heading towards the Fox Glacier. As you draw closer to the picturesque mountains, fly over dramatic ice falls and deep crevasses before you descend for a snow landing. Here you will have an opportunity to take in your surroundings, breathe in the clean alpine air and take photos in this winter wonderland. When you are finished, join your pilot in the return flight back to the Fox Glacier Township.

Mount Cook: Tandem Skydive Experience

8. Mount Cook: Tandem Skydive Experience

Feel the thrill of a high-speed free-fall from the sky in New Zealand's South Island with this skydiving experience. Jump from a plane from a height of 13,000 or15,000 feet above the ground, and be paired with a professional tandem master who looks after you every step of the way. Enjoy New Zealand’s most stunning skydiving experience in Pukaki, which boasts some of the country’s most epic scenery. Skydiving around Mount Cook offers quintessential South Island views: snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes, and the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Free fall from the best piece of sky this beautiful country has to offer

From Methven: Mt Hutt Scenic Hot Air Balloon Flight

9. From Methven: Mt Hutt Scenic Hot Air Balloon Flight

You will meet Adventure Balloons Pilot and crew man at the bus stop on the main street, in front of Methven Medical Centre first thing in the morning. (times do change during the different seasons between 6am and 8am) when booking, this will be confirmed. The crew will then take you to the launch site, which can be different each flight, depending on wind conditions. You will experience the excitement of inflating a Hot Air Balloon. Once you have launched the Canterbury Plains will unfold and you will have Panoramic views across the Southern Alps and all the way east to the Pacific Ocean. The flight takes about an hour. The Pilot will find a suitable paddock to land in the 4x4 chase will then meet you. After packing the balloon away there will be a treat of muffins, juice or Sparkling wine, before retuning you back to the Bus stop in Methven.

Mount Cook: Aoraki Panorama Scenic Helicopter flight

10. Mount Cook: Aoraki Panorama Scenic Helicopter flight

Take in views of the Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park on this shared helicopter flight from Canterbury. Dive into sights like the Tasman Terminal Lake with the in flight commentary provided by your pilot. Stop to breathe in the crisp mountain air with a alpine landing. Meet your pilot at the Mount Cook Airport and listen to a short safety briefing. Expereince the thrill of taking off towards the Southern Alps. Admire views of the highest mountain in the country, Aoraki / Mt Cook.  Feel the excitement of landing in the mountains and capture pictures of sweeping views of snowy peaks. Fly over the icebergs of the Tasman Terminal Lake before returning to to Mount Cook Airport.

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What people are saying about Canterbury, New Zealand

Staff were very friendly and informative. They gave us lots of information before and on the flight. It was clear they were keen to find the whales too! Really enjoyed the experience. Thank you!!

Staff were very friendly and informative. They gave us lots of information before and on the flight. Great views and a brilliant experience.

Awesome whale watching experience!! Pilot and ground crew very nice and scenery spectacular. Beats getting bounced around on a boat!

Amazing experience. Everything went perfect for us! Saw two whales

Easy to find. Great staff. Great pilot. Amazing views!