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 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: 

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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

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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 …

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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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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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