A great travel tip for your New Zealand Glacier experience

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Glacier Landing

Bonar Glacier, Mt Aspiring National Park

Our local glaciers might not be as well known as Fox and Franz Josef but they still put a smile on visitors faces and we regularly receive great feedback on our “Glacier Experience” scenic flight.  

We’d like to share with you this particular clients’ recent TripAdvisor comments – she certainly picked up on the positive after missing out on the West Coast:

“Astoundingly beautiful, Highlight of my 3-week trip! Wonderful service”

Our tour guide contacted Aspiring Helicopters at the last minute, after Cyclone Fehi blocked our route to Franz Josef Glacier. I was heartbroken at traveling halfway around the world and not getting to the famous glacier. But now, I’m GLAD that happened, because my flight, glacier viewing and snow landing with Aspiring Helicopters was an unparalleled experience.

I’ve traveled worldwide and done scenic helicopter rides in several gorgeous places, including Hawaii & South Africa. Most were at very busy helicopter companies that provided safe, scenic flights but were more interested in rushing you along so they could get the next large group underway. Aspiring Helicopters was also very safe and scenic, but they weren’t trying to cram in as many people or flights as possible. The flight was spectacular with great commentary by our pilot. The Isobel Glacier area is not crowded or full of other helicopters crammed with tourists. Best of all, we landed in a truly isolated area, where I saw NO other landing tracks. We were able to experience the beauty and the natural silence of the area without listening to the roar of chopper blades or the chatter of other visitors. The pilots were very professional and made sure we were safe, both in the air and by checking the snowy area where we landed before letting us walk around. We had plenty of time to walk (and play a little) in the snow and enjoy all the beautiful surroundings.

The Franz Josef glacier is probably bigger, possibly more blue, and maybe even more beautiful. But there I would have been one of hundreds of people landing in the same area on the same day, staying for just a couple of minutes, surrounded by other tourists and the sounds of choppers coming and going. Instead, I had a much more intense, personal experience at Isobel glacier with Aspiring Helicopters … and I couldn’t be happier!”

So if you find yourself in the same boat don’t let missing out at Fox or Franz be a downer – “there are plenty more glaciers in these here mountains!”


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Tick off two top five NZ Must Do’s with us

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

Milford Sound Scenic Flight

Milford Sound Scenic Flight

With so many must-see and must-do experiences on offer in New Zealand it can be difficult to fit everything in, especially if you are on a limited time frame.

We have the perfect solution to help you achieve some of those top-of-the-list experiences i.e.

  1. Milford Sound
  2. Glacier Experience

Spend a night or two in the picturesque lakeside town of Wanaka, visit #thatwanakatree, walk #MtRoy if you’re so inclined and then take a 2hr scenic flight that will have you in Milford Sound in half an hour with a chance to walk along the shore and take photos with Mitre Peak.

On the way back you’ll fly above the stunning Southern Alps and stop off on a Glacier overlooking Mt Aspiring.

All round a pretty good result for a one-night stay!

Click here to make a booking.

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Fire ops in Wanaka

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Wanaka Fire

Pilot Tim taking a bucket load to the Wanaka Fire

Helicopters come in handy for all manner of interesting jobs, one that’s little known but becomes quite obvious with increased media attention is their usefulness in fighting fires.

This summer has been a hot dry one for Central Otago.  We have already been called to help fight a number of fires.

The recent blaze in Wanaka on Mt Alpha put us all in the spot light.  Locals watched from their balconies while up to eight helicopters joined the massive effort to fight this scrub fire.  It burned nearly 200 ha over multiple days.

With a capacity to carry up to 1200ltrs, a turn around time of between 3-4mins and the ability to quickly access steep terrain having helicopters on hand to help fight this fire was a godsend.

We tip our hats to all those who worked tirelessly together to put this one out!


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Swap #Mt Roy for Coromandel Peak and get “that shot”

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Coromandel Peak, Mt Roy, Photo Will Patino

Put yourself in the picture on Mt Roy, Coromandel Peak

When Wanaka’s popular Mt Roy walking track closes to hikers for the lambing season there are a lot of disappointed visitors. If you have your heart set on getting a photo of  ‘that view’ don’t despair we can help.

In fact we have a far better option than slogging it out up a farm track anyway – and that’s to take a scenic helicopter ride instead.

During the closed period we can offer our “Lake Wanaka Scenic flight” with a landing on Coromandel Peak for $235 per person (minimum 2). This includes a 10min flight and 10min on location to capture that shot.

Coromandel Peak is privately owned and a popular wedding destination so is regularly booked for exclusive use. Therefore we recommend taking your scenic flight in the morning.

Then if you’re still looking for a hiking option with stunning views we can recommend “Rocky Hill and Diamond Lake” a great loop track (approx 3hr return) just 5min down the road, with gorgeous 360 degree views from the top.

Feel free to email us info@aspiringhelicopters.co.nz if you want to get yourself in the picture.

#mtroy #wanaka #nzmustdo

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Flying the flag for Wanaka’s newest luxury lodge

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Mahu Whenua luxury Lodge

Milford Sound scenic flight ex Mahu Whenua luxury lodge

Wanaka finally has a new unique luxury accommodation that sits comfortably with the big names in New Zealand.

Mahu Whenua is a beautiful lodge situated on stunning grounds with breathtaking views over Lake Wanaka. The secluded lodge offers all the normal luxuries associated with a high end property – including easy helicopter access! Great for guests and for us…

We are literally just-around-the-corner so we’re perfectly placed to zip up and collect guests direct from the front lawn for a private personalised scenic flight.

As the flight path from Wanaka to Milford Sound is so spectacular this is by far the best starting point … we can then incorporate a visit to the West Coast and the spectacular glaciers of the Southern Alps and top it off with a relaxing exclusive lunch stop at the Whare Kea Chalet!

We’re also pleased to be working closely with property managers Major Domo to provide some great exclusive heli-based activities on and around the property. From Ridge-top canapés to Winery visits, the options are ‘almost’ endless.

Contact us for flight details: info@aspiringhelicopters.co.nz 


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TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence – 2017

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Helicopter Glacier Landing on the Isobel

Glacier Landing – Mt Aspiring National Park

Two years in a row and we’re super excited. The continued feedback from clients that the experiences we provide are exceptional has earned us our second Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.

We value client feedback and also greatly appreciate those who take the time to share their views online. For us it’s as good as ‘word-of-mouth’.

A huge thank you to our staff for going that extra mile to ensure clients go away happy and especially to our pilots for always giving 110% whether it’s to our commercial clients or visitors taking our scenic flights.   Well done Team!


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A remote luxury experience in the Southern Alps – National Geographic Traveller, June 2017

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

It’s often hard for us to put into words how the experiences we are offering will affect you – sometimes there are just no words adequate enough to convey what you can expect.

So we usually revert to “trust us, it’ll be amazing – once you’ve done it you’ll understand”.

This is not only the case for our scenic flights but also for the Whare Kea Chalet, a remote exclusive accommodation that we operate on the edge of the Southern Alps. Words simply cannot describe the experience.

However, we think writer “Carrie Miller” has managed to sum it up perfectly in her recent article for the National Geographic Traveller magazine which was published last month.

Have a read and see if you can’t just picture yourself there right now!

Whare Kea Chalet article

Article by Carrie Miller for the National Geographic Traveler magazine published in June, 2017

 

 

 


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Wanaka Heliski – Open for Business

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Heilskiing, Heli-skiing, Heliboarding, heli-boarding wanaka

Heli-skiing in the Harris Mountains

It’s that time of year again, frosty mornings, fresh snow, fires cranking. Time for a winter treat!

Our suggestion: take to the skies for the ultimate skiing experience.

We kicked off the Wanaka heli-ski season last week with some sensational conditions. Superb skiing with consistent snow – you can check out some of the footage here.

If you’re heading to Wanaka or Queenstown during the school holidays and looking to avoid the carparks, crowds and queues why not treat yourself to a day out heli-skiing with Harris Mountains Heliski (we fly for them).

You’ll be picked up in town and driven to our base for a stella day out in the mountains, soaking up the fresh air, and laying your own first tracks on some of the best terrain in the region.

Contact us for more information +61 3 443 7152 or email info@aspiringhelicopters.co.nz


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Taking Keith Morrison to the Mountains

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Scenic Flight Wanaka - alpine landing

NBC Dateline Sunday program featured an article on American’s fascination with New Zealand. Pictured above Liz Carlson and presenter Keith Morrison

We have the odd ‘rich and famous’ person come through our hangar and usually these are low-key affairs.

However on this occasion we’d like to share with you our experience with Dateline NBC presenter Keith Morrison.

He was here filming an interesting light-hearted look at the apparent American fascination with New Zealand.

Keith interviewed some key American’s who have relocated to our fine shores: namely local vineyard owner Sam Neill and travel writer Liz Carlson.

And he went flying with our pilot Tim who has an eye for finding those great angles for filming New Zealand’s stunning vistas.

You can check the article out here …http://www.nbcnews.com/megyn-kelly/video/the-americans-are-coming-the-obsession-with-new-zealand-970813507783


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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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