The national parks of Aoraki Mount Cook and Westland Tai Poutini are some of the most remarkable and breath-taking areas of natural wilderness in the world.
Every year, visitors from all around the globe make the journey to experience the pristine and picturesque parks up close and personal by way of walks, hikes, skiing etc.
Some visitors go a step further and experience these amazing landscapes from the best vantage point possible high in the clouds above.
It sounds like something out of a dream but Air Safaris make it a reality with their numerous tours that have provided once in a lifetime experiences for so many people over so many years.
The history of Air Safaris
Air Safaris have a fascinating history and are one of the most reputable operators in the region. Founded in 1970, they’ve been flying aircraft in the skies above Mount Cook and Westland National parks for over 45 years.
As a family owned and operated business, they started out with a single aircraft and have since grown its fleet to 9 aircraft to become one of the largest scenic flight airlines in New Zealand. The aircraft themselves are specifically designed for flight-seeing to ensure passengers get the most out of their time in the air.
Their impeccable safety record is something they are extremely proud of and they are also recipients of the ‘The Director of Civil Aviation’s Award for Safety’. It’s a great endorsement and means you’ll be completely relaxed and be able to enjoy every aspect of the view below.
The incredible Grand Traverse
One of the most popular scenic flights offered by Air Safaris is the Grand Traverse. It’s a spectacular 50-minute scenic flight that takes in the best sights of two World Heritage National Parks (the aforementioned Mount Cook and Westlands) and the scenery that surrounds.
There are many highlights to enjoy along the way. These include glacial lakes, glacial valleys, braided river systems and landforms.
You’ll also see some of the highest peaks in New Zealand as well as some of the country’s largest glaciers like the Tasman, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers.
The aircraft are specifically designed so that every passenger has a window seat with the wings fitted above for unobstructed views. The friendly and informative commentary from the pilot also provides interesting insight into the scenery below.
Sunset flights, helicopter tours and more!
Air Safaris also offers a number of other tours that are well worth your consideration.
One of these is the Winter Sunset flight. During the months of May-August, this tour is designed to maximise the beautiful sunset that hits Mount Cook and the West Coast. The Golden Amber sunset from the western horizon lights the sky and landscape beautifully, creating an idyllic scene for your photos and memories.
Air Safaris also operates a number of helicopters offering a number of tours for an altogether different type of flying experience. This includes flights to Lake Tekapo, the Mackenzie District and snow landings near Mount Cook and the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers.
There’s also the opportunity to experience an excursion to the stunning Milford Sound saving you an otherwise 7 ½ drive from Lake Tekapo. During the flight, you can opt for a direct route that’ll go via the basin lakes and Mount Aspiring National Park. An alternate scenic route will take you past Mount Cook and its glaciers.
The flights to Milford Sound usually stopover for 30-60 minutes giving you plenty of time to take in the sights of the spectacular untamed and unspoilt surrounds of high mountain ranges and the magical waterfalls that cascade down.
A host of additional scenic flights and charters are also available.
Book now with Air Safaris!
The amazing scenery to witness in this part of the world can only be described as spectacular and unlike anything else on the planet. Seeing it from the skies will add another dimension to your experience that will no doubt leave you lost for words. It is an experience that many cherish and few regret.
GO Play discount: 10%
GO Play cardholders enjoy a 10% discount with Air Safaris. Book direct using your GO Play card.