Recognition for summer rescue mission

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Variety is the spice of life and you can ask any of our pilots and they’ll agree. Each day is different and sometimes you just have to go with it.

We help out with the local Search and Rescue team and last summer Pilot Tim Coldicott and Wanaka Search and Rescue volunteers Lionel and Dave were first responders on the scene of a major incident on Mt Aspiring which could have cost lives… but didn’t – thanks to the skills and dedication of this well-oiled team.

For us the call came in from the RCC on a day that was already too busy, after a few days of bad weather there was a back-log of commercial work and scenic flights to get through – the pressure was already on… One phone call and priorities quickly changed, radio comms were made with Tim, scenic flights were put on hold and the call went out to local SAR volunteers – their help was needed asap.

This is how it rolls in the world of the Rescue Co-ordination Centre, the call goes out and the operators and volunteers who are dedicated to saving lives, put their businesses and personal lives on hold to help those in need.

This dedication and selflessness is at the backbone of our Search and Rescue teams. Two very lucky climbers have our guys to thank for their lives.

This month the team was formally recognised for their efforts in this rescue when NZSAR awarded Aspiring Helicopters, Wanaka Search and Rescue’s Alpine Cliff Rescue Team and Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust with a Certificate of Achievement – we took it as a sign of appreciation. 

Recognition for something we all do as ‘par for the course’ is welcomed and greatly appreciated.  

This is not just another job for any of us, this is a tools down, life and business on hold, forget everything else request – each and every time the call comes in.

So we’d like to say thank you NZSAR for recognising our contribution – and thank you to the Wanaka volunteers for your ongoing dedication and commitment…. Oh and a special thank you to all those lovely people on that day whose plans were disrupted but who were happy to wait the extra hour or two for their scenic flight!.  

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Making the Grade – Whare Kea Chalet listed #10 in Lonely Planet’s “Best of 2017”

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Whare Kea Chalet and Mt Aspiring

Whare Kea Chalet luxury lodge sits on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park

It’s always nice to get a little recognition for something you are doing right but it’s even better when the big guns give kudos to something you operate and we are quite chuffed that the Lonely Planet has listed the “Whare Kea Chalet” in it’s Top Ten places to stay in 2017.

The Chalet is a unique accommodation in New Zealand, it’s the highest ‘luxury’ stay in the country. Purpose built to allow those with either limited time or ability to experience the wild and remote New Zealand alps.

A short scenic flight from Wanaka the Chalet has spectacular views across they valley to Mt Aspiring, the highest peak outside Mt Cook National Park. Affectionately known as the Matterhorn of the South it’s the icon of the National Park and the lower Southern Alps.

Visitors can access the Chalet for a day trip with heli-hiking or lunch or take the full indulgence overnight experience with mountain guide, chef/host, après, gourmet dinner and breakfast.

On a perfect day there’s the option to add a scenic flight with a glacier landing, a tour around Mt Aspiring or a trip over the alps to Milford Sound.

 Want to be good to your partner – put it on your bucket list!



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Get your “Glacier fix” from Wanaka

Monday, February 27th, 2017

helicopter glacier landing scenic flight mt aspiring national park

Summer Glacier Landing in IMV – 24th February, 2017

Getting up close and personal with a glacier is on the hit list for most visitors to New Zealand and the secret’s out this is an excellent option from Lake Wanaka – with literally 100s of glaciers on it’s doorstep!

We have joined forces with Eco Wanaka to offer the ultimate personalised Glacier experience – double dipping onto the Isobel and under the Rob Roy.

This new combo provides the perfect day out – you will be picked up from your accommodation and head out along the scenic drive to the Matukituki Valley to meet your helicopter. Taking off and rising high above the Harris Mountains for a Glacier Landing on the Isobel Glacier on the border of Mt Aspiring National Park.

The Isobel sits at 7,000ft and provides spectacular 360degree views of the Southern Alps and Mt Aspiring (Tititea) the ‘glistening peak’ and pinnacle of the National Park.

After a fitting photo stop your pilot will fly you down to Raspberry Flat to meet your Eco Wanaka nature guide.

You can then enjoy one of the top ten day walks in the country to the “Rob Roy Glacier”.

This beautiful meandering path follows alongside the boulder infused Rob Roy Stream up through natural beech forest. Climbing gently the path breaks into a valley clearing at the base of the Rob Roy Glacier. Clients are treated to a first hand view of the glistening blue ice formations. Keas often join the party for lunch in this spectacular location.

The ultimate glacier rated day out for those looking for a bespoke experience on the doorstep of Mt Aspiring National Park.

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Skilled pilots and kitted out helicopters make great fire-fighters

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Firefighting longline lifting job

Photo: @live24 New Zealand

We had the first major call-out of the summer recently to go and help fight a large scrub fire above Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown. We joined seven other helicopters and about 50 ground crew to fight the 150 hectare fire, which was apparently started by a camp fire.

For us the specialised monsoon buckets generally spend more time in the hangar than in the air – a good thing really – but when the call comes in to use one it’s all hands on deck to get them out the door ASAP.

Long-line jobs are a favourite among pilots, there’s a different skill set involved with maneuvering gear rather than guests!

Our pilots are lucky to have a variety of jobs here. Whilst they all enjoy taking visiting tourist on scenic flights and showing off the Lake Wanaka region there’s an increased level of anticipation when the scenery changes and the flying intensity increases.  It’s often a case of paper-scissors-rock for those jobs!

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Celebrating “International Mountain Day”

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Mt Aspiring National Park

Mt Aspiring

We’d like to raise our hands today and acknowledged International Mountain Day (11th December, 2016).

Globally the purpose of this day is to raise awareness about Sustainable Mountain Development and although this year’s official theme is “Mountain cultures: celebrating diversity and strengthening identity” we can each choose to celebrate this day with our own appropriate theme.

We will take a moment to stand in respect of our rugged and beautiful New Zealand mountains. Because we are a young country our mountains are still growing. They continue to rise above us, standing tall providing us with unique, diverse, interesting and challenging experiences. From the extreme weather that they help to generate to the intricate valleys and assorted mini ecosystems they harbor; they command a constant source of both respect and delight for visitors from all walks of life.

Whether you visit them on a scenic flight with a landing on an ancient glacier or do the hard yards, donning a backpack and crampons and sweating your way to the top there is no-doubt something truly awe inspiring about being in the presence of a mountain.

So today, we celebrate the fact that our backyard backs onto the Southern Alps… and that Mt Aspiring stands tall behind us providing a glimpse of the majestic nature of our mountains.

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What better place to say “I Do” than on a mountain top in New Zealand.

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

Wanaka Wedding Mt Roy

Mt Roy Wedding Elopment on Coromandel Peak

For many people the decision to get married is a lengthy and carefully considered one, but for some it’s a decision made on a wonderful whim because the stars have aligned.

We hosted our very own version of an ‘almost Vegas’ style wedding for Chris and Danielle last week and were totally taken with their story.

On a mountain biking holiday together from the States, which Danielle confessed took months to arrange, they made the decision to get married in this beautiful location because the timing just felt right.

With only a small gap in their busy itinerary the couple managed to pull together what we think is the perfect wedding: An elopement.

Wanaka could easily be considered the most beautiful place to get married in the world and you can see why a true romantic would choose it. With it’s snow capped mountain peaks and crystal clear lake the backdrop is simply breathtaking by anyone’s standards.

And the bonus of eloping is the ability to take yourselves in a helicopter, say your vows and celebrate your special day together – just the two of you. No fanfare, no fuss just a fabulous future to look forward to.

A Wanaka Wedding is almost an #nzmustdo!!

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Stunning spring scenery for your scenic flight-seeing pleasure

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Wanaka Scenic Flight Wanaka Glacier landing

Glacier Landing Scenic Flight from the Matukituki Valley Wanaka

Ask anyone on staff and we’ll all agree this is our favourite time of year and a prime time to take a scenic flight here in New Zealand’s lower South Island!

Why? Because it’s the change of two very scenic seasons … from winter to spring.

Spring in Wanaka brings cherry blossoms bursting with colour, Daffodils in full bloom, longer days and shorter sleeves.  Up the Matukituki Valley cows are calving, sheep are lambing and the farmland has turned that beautiful deep vibrant green.

But winter hasn’t quite let go so our mountains continue to boast fresh falls of snow.

A photographers paradise? No two ways about it.

If you are travelling in the Southern Lakes region at this time of year and want to experience something pretty special then our Glacier Landing or Aspiring and Glaciers scenic flights are sure to be a highlight of your trip.

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Super Spring Deals off Wanaka Heli-skiing with Harris Mountains

Friday, September 16th, 2016

heli-skiing wanaka

Spring is a stunning time here in Wanaka, it’s warming up, the days are longer, the valleys are green and there is still snow on the mountains: perfect conditions for a fun day out Heli-skiing!

Picture yourself enjoying the stunning scenic view from your helicopter …. ski terrain suitable for your ability level… picnic at altitude with a leisurely mountain top lunch.  What better way to spend a day?

If you’re new to the idea, or have thought about it but didn’t think you were quite up-to-scratch with your ability then this is the perfect time to give it a go.

Snow conditions are consistent making it even easier for intermediate skiers and riders to get out there and have an amazing day in the mountains.

AND … Harris Mountains Heliski are offering some super spring specials this September with great discounts off selected trips.

For just $NZ 745 you can take a classic 4 run day or for $945 tackle the Max Vert!

Check their website for more info or give them call them on 03 443 7930.

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Heliski heaven in the Harris Mountains

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Heliskiing in Harris Mountains

Heliski heaven for powder hounds

The mountains surrounding beautiful Lake Wanaka offer some exceptional New Zealand heli-skiing terrain and we’re pleased to be working once again with Harris Mountains Heliski to take keen skiers and boarders into our mountains for an unforgettable experience.

After a slow start the winter went off with a bang: a week of continuous snow followed by the obligatory bluebird days provided the perfect conditions for “heliski heaven”.

For some people a simple scenic flight above the peaks on a crystal clear day is enough but for others the mere thought of jumping in and out of a helicopter all day, facing miles of untracked fresh powder is simply unavoidable.

For the ultimate adrenaline rush this winter add heli-skiing to your bucket list .

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Certified Excellent

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Glacier Landing Scenic Flight

We were very excited to receive our first “Certificate of Excellence” from the globally renowned TripAdvisor website.

After consistently receiving excellent reviews over the past year our hard work and dedication to providing exceptional customer service and a premium professional product has paid off.

We are pleased to be recognized by what we believe is one of the leading influencers in customer choice when it comes to choosing experiences.

With spectacular scenery scenic flights in the Southern Lakes region can almost ‘sell themselves’ but it’s our teams’ added commitment to providing a superior level of customer service that has no doubt helped us achieve this status.

It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback and we greatly appreciate those clients who also take the time to share their feedback through TripAdvisor!

Thank you to all those who have flown with us! And for those who are considering a scenic flight in our region we look forward to providing you with a similar experience.


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