Canterbury, New Zealand
Air & Helicopter Tours

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Our most recommended Canterbury, New Zealand Air & Helicopter Tours

Kaikoura: 30-Minute Whale Watching Flight

1. Kaikoura: 30-Minute Whale Watching Flight

Receive an informative briefing of the Sperm Whales and other wildlife of Kaikoura, ready for your 30-minute flight experience. Learn about its unique geology, and what you can expect to see during the flight. Spend a special half hour viewing these majestic creatures from a unique vantage point.  Head directly out over the Kaikoura Whale Sanctuary to start looking for Kaikoura's wildlife. This whale watching flight showcases the year-round whales and dolphins, as well as the stunning coastline and peninsula. Focusing on the mighty Sperm Whale, this is a once-in-a-lifetime flight to view these animals, as well as other whale and dolphin species that migrate through Kaikoura's waters.  All aircraft are high-winged, which allows each person their own window seat and optimal, unobstructed viewing and photography opportunities. Your tour finishes back at the terminal where there is a gift shop and refreshments available.

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Mount Cook: Ski Plane and Helicopter Alpine Combo Flight

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

Fly in a skiplane 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, you will 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 before swapping aircraft and returning to Mount Cook Airport.  These mountains are covered in snow and ice all year round, and the aircraft fully shuts down on landing. You'll also see Tasman Terminal Lake, Grand Plateau, Plateau Hut, as well as the full length of the Tasman Glacier.

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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. 

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Franz Josef Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

4. 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 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 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.

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Christchurch: 20-Minutes City Helicopter Flight

5. Christchurch: 20-Minutes City Helicopter Flight

Discover the city of Christchurch from above on a scenic helicopter flight. The city is known for its English heritage and fondly referred to as the Garden City due to its abundance of parks and trees. Observe the lush banks of the serpentine Avon River and the beautiful botanical gardens, which are a delight to see from above. Your expert pilots will inform and entertain you with all the latest facts and points of interest such as the Cathedral, new landmarks including the library, and the vision for the future of this thriving city. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Banks Peninsula which is formed from three now dormant volcanoes, where you will also see the busy Port of Lyttelton. On the return leg enjoy a bird’s eye view of the estuary and coastline before you return via the seaside suburbs of Sumner and Redcliffs.

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From Queenstown: Mount Cook Small Group Adventure

6. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Small Group Adventure

At 3724m, Aoraki/Mt Cook is by no means among the world’s tallest but with the nearby Mt Cook village just 750m above sea-level, the mountain can be viewed without any acclimatization whatsoever, and so this tour is perfect for people of all levels of fitness. The guided tour begins with pickups in Queenstown and Frankton, before you then travel through the stunning Kawarau gorge to Cromwell. After making a comfort stop in the quaint township of Omarama (where you have the option to taste one of the best creamy chicken pies in New Zealand), you climb your way through Lindis Pass, one of only 3 alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. As you exit the Pass, you may catch glimpses of the mighty mountain itself; but before arriving there is much more to see, including what many consider one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Lake Pukaki is one of the bluest lakes you will ever see, and is framed by the backdrop of Aoraki and its brothers in the Southern Alps. The location of several scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lake Pukaki is a destination in and of itself. You soon pass the delta where the mountain’s various rivers, creeks and streams converge to form the lake, and the mountain continues to grow steadily in stature and grandeur until the shear scale of the view makes you feel powerless. Arriving at the alpine village of Mt Cook and the Hermitage - home of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre - you now have the freedom to explore in whatever way suits your energy levels and budget. Please select the activity you would like to include during the booking process, which are at an additional charge.

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Mount Cook: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Alpine Landing

7. 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.

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Kaikoura: 1-Hour Whale Watching Helicopter Tour

8. Kaikoura: 1-Hour Whale Watching Helicopter Tour

Spot sperm whales, dusky dolphins, and fur seals from above before making a summit landing among the towering peaks of the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges on this 1-hour helicopter tour. The adventure begins with a short safety briefing from the pilot, as well as additional information about the year-round population of sperm whales and the unique underwater Kaikoura Canyon. Next, jump in the helicopter and head out over the Whale Sanctuary and Hikurangi Marine Reserve for a chance to view the pod of sperm whales. Taking on a bird's-eye-view maximizes time viewing the wildlife while not disrupting their natural behavior. Continue along the magnificent coastline of the Kaikoura Peninsula keeping an eye out for playful dusky dolphins and New Zealand fur seals. The last stop of the day will be the towering peaks of the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges for an incredible alpine landing. Get out and walk around on rugged pristine land with breathtaking vistas of the mountains, peninsula, and ocean.

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From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

9. From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

Embark on a helicopter flight from Christchurch that follows the spectacular rugged coastline until you head inland to Akaroa harbour. The locals will tell you that no trip to the Christchurch area can be complete without a visit to Akaroa, the jewel in Banks Peninsula’s crown. On the way, discover the lush forests and grasslands that run down the hillsides to the azure water of the endless bays, fed by the Pacific Ocean itself. Upon arrival at Akaroa explore its excellent shops, cafés, and restaurants. Early French settlers gave Akaroa its heritage and distinct French feel that is reflected in the names of the streets and local bays.

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From Queenstown: Mount Cook Skydive & Tour

10. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Skydive & Tour

Meet your guide in Queenstown before setting off for a day of thrills and adventure. Your guide will set the scene and prepare you for your skydive as you head out of the city and towards Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Admire the views as you pass through Kawarau Gorge, Lindis Pass and the Southern Alps. There will be a few short stops along the way to take in the scenery, and a longer stop in the quaint town of Omarama to get some lunch. After lunch, you will head to your skydive in Pukaki. Boasting some of the country’s most epic scenery and views of the snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes of Mount Cook National Park, this is one of the best bits of sky in the country. You will take a 10-minute scenic flight up to 9,000, 13,000, or 15,000 feet where you will get ready to dive. Enjoy a thrilling 30-second freefall before your professional instructor pulls the parachute for 3-5 minutes of incredible views across the South Island and Aoraki National Park. Back on solid ground, you will take a short drive past Lake Pukaki to arrive at Mount Cook village. You will have 2.5 hours to explore the National Park on foot, an ideal amount of time to take the easy hike along the Kea Point track. After a packed day of adventure, you will visit High Country Salmon to taste some of the freshest salmon in New Zealand. During the summer months, you will also stop at Mrs Jones Fruit Stall to try some fresh local fruit before heading back to Queenstown. Alternatively, you can choose to continue heading North from Mount Cook National park and end your day trip in Christchurch. If you would like to choose this, please select the ‘Drop-off in Christchurch’ option.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Canterbury, New Zealand

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What people are saying about Canterbury, New Zealand

We thought that Peter did an excellent job introducing us to whale spotting, watching and took time to explain whale habits, their environment and put us in good positions to take photos. We enjoyed the explanations around earthquakes and road restoration works and it was quite spectacular to land & stop for a very cold but spectacular photo on the top of Mt Fyfe. I wonder if pilots or ground crew have any particular tips to offer relating to photographing with telephoto lenses. Maybe high shutter speeds, Tv, auto ISO. The photos we took where good and reasonably in close but not as sharp as I hoped for. Pretty tricky with moving chopper, sea and whale I guess. Overall 10 out of 10. Thank you. Very memorable!

We were told no whales were to be seen and offered a full refund if required. We decided to fly anyway. Our pilot Mike found an orca for us but no other whales so he gave us an amazing flight over the snow capped mountains, it was amazing we had so much fun

Pick up exactly on time. driving was great, tour guide Callum was very funny and friendly and made sure we all got to our activities on time and had a great day. Highly recommend.

Awesome experience with a professional, knowledgeable experienced guide. Fantastic weather and heli ride. It is a spectacular part of nz

It’s a really good experience with a friendly tour guide