Monthly Archives: April 2020

TRUE SOUTH MOTHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE


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With Mother’s Day only a matter of weeks away, you’re probably starting to think about gifts and what you can possibly come up with this year that is going to be special. You’ve done flowers and chocolates to death, the foot spa is gathering dust in the garage and with isolation a reality for at least a few more weeks, you can’t just nip out to browse around the shops until you see something that you know she will love.

Well, if you’re looking for the gift of all gifts—the one that will spark surprise, delight and excitement and earn you serious brownie points—stop searching, because we have the ‘mother’ of all gift ideas right here! Give your mother, grandmother, mother-in-law or the mother of your children something to look forward to with the gift of one of our incredible True South scenic flight experiences.

Scenic flight over Milford Sound

She might have already been to Milford Sound. She might have done the cruise, seen the dolphins and felt the spray from Stirling Falls – but has she seen the beautiful Milford Sound from above? Present her with a voucher for a Milford Sound scenic flight, an experience that she will never forget. A Milford Sound scenic flight may not be something she would ever treat herself to—and it should be a right of passage for all New Zealanders and New Zealand tourists… Book some extra seats and bring the family along too!

South Island charter flight

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Is there somewhere special you would like to take her? Why not go all out with the promise of a charter flight departing from Queenstown. Fly her to the town where she grew up to spend the day reliving old memories or fly the whole family to the alps for the ultimate ski trip. If she enjoys hiking and the wilderness, we can arrange a charter flight into Martins Bay in Fiordland to join the infamous Hollyford Track—one of New Zealand’s best walks. With our South Island charter flights, our versatile planes can access hundreds of small airstrips—so let us know if you have an idea and we will be happy to help turn it into a reality.

Mount Cook helicopter glacier landing

Mount Cook helicopter glacier landing

Combine a Mount Cook scenic flight and an exhilarating helicopter adventure with our glacier landing package. This once-in-a-lifetime experience includes a scenic flight out of Queenstown, up and over the snow-capped Southern Alps to one of the airports located on Mount Cook. From there, a chopper will whisk her up the mountain to land on one of the glaciers—either Tasman Glacier, Hooker Glacier, Lake Pukaki, Fox Glacier or Franz Josef Glacier—where she can step out, breathe in the crisp alpine air and take some spectacular photos. With this offer, we’ll even throw in courtesy transport to and from any Queenstown accommodation to have her feeling like a superstar.

 


Best Skiing Spots In The South Island


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New Zealand’s annual ski season kicks off in mid-June, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Southern Alps for fun, fitness and fresh powder. So where exactly are the best spots for skiing? Whether you’re a beginner or a budding Olympian, a parent or a penny-pincher, we have a spot for you. We’ve even thrown in the spot with the best views and the best South Island heli-skiing experience to leave you counting down the days until you can hit the slopes.​

Southern Alps

Best for families
Our pick of the South Island ski fields for families is Cardrona, one of four popular fields located close to the busy hub of Queenstown. Cardrona offers group and private lessons for children with specially trained instructors for the littlies under five. Planning a full week of skiing? No worries, Cardrona’s four-day adventure programs run from Monday to Thursday. And if your children aren’t quite up for four full days on their feet, there is a fully licensed childcare centre on site for kids aged three months to five years.

Best for the budget
Mt Dobson is one of the less crowded ski fields in the South Island—but not for a lack of good skiing! With a great mix of prepared trails and off-piste trails (away from pre-prepared ski-runs) Mt Dobson offers fantastic variety. In 2020, a single-day adult lift-pass is just $90—or you can grab a season pass for an affordable $279. What’s to lose?! Just two hours and fifteen minutes from Christchurch by car, Mt Dobson is a great choice for those city-slickers who love to ski in the weekends.​

 ski fields in the South Island

Best views
As South Island scenic flight operators, we know a good view when we see one. Treble Cone’s stunning views over Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps are a truly a sight for sore eyes. A little café overlooking the lake offers a welcome respite from the slopes. Stop off for a hot drink, rest your weary legs, soak in the scenery and take some happy snaps before you set off for another round.

Best semi-pro
The Craigieburn Valley ski area is popular with experienced skiers and is a non-profit, charitable organisation. Don’t count on any extras here – there are no chair lifts, hire shops or fancy restaurants—but the trade-off is some incredible terrain that can challenge even the most competent of skiers. A highlight is the 600m vertical descent and there are hiking and ski-touring opportunities here too.

Best heli-skiing
Looking for something out of the ordinary? Try heli-skiing the phenomenal Tasman Glacier—the longest glacier in New Zealand. With True South and Alpine Guides, the Tasman Glacier experience offers the best heli-skiing in New Zealand. Breathtaking views? Check. A full day of adrenaline-filled skiing? Check. A complimentary picnic lunch? Of course! And you’ll be flying in style with comfortable and scenic flights to and from Queenstown and Mount Cook, courtesy of yours truly.​

Mt. Cook - Ski the Tasman

 


AMAZING FACTS ABOUT MILFORD SOUND


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The incredible Milford Sound is more than just a picture-perfect place to visit. It is geographically unique, historically significant and incredibly important to surrounding wildlife and communities. Read on to learn some amazing facts that will make your Milford Sound scenic flight all the more fascinating.

Milford Sound New Zealand

Milford Sound is not actually a sound

You might’ve heard this one before, but Milford Sound is not actually a sound—it is a fiord. What’s the difference? Well, a sound is formed when a river valley is flooded by the sea, whereas a fiord (or fjord) is typically created when a glacier carves a valley which is then filled by the sea.

Milford Sound is deep!

You couldn’t tell from a scenic flight over Milford Sound, but some parts of the fiord are an astonishing 400m deep. This means that you could take Auckland’s Sky tower and put at the bottom of the fiord, and you’d still have over 70m—the width of a rugby field—between the tower’s tip and the surface of the water.

Pounamu can be found near Milford Sound

Precious Pounamu or greenstone can be found near Milford Sound. Also known as jade or nephrite, Pounamu was formed hundreds of millions of years ago by the recrystallisation of minerals within rocks deep under the earth’s surface. You can actually see where the Pounamu can be found on your Milford Sound scenic flight—just ask our pilot to point it out!

 

Precious Pounamu or greenstone

The highest waterfall provides power and water

The Lady Bowen Falls is Milford Sound’s tallest waterfall, standing at 161m high. Through a small hydroelectric scheme, the falls provide electricity for the Milford Sound village which is home to around 120 residents. But that’s not all—the impressive Lady Bowen Falls is also the main water source for the local community.

Dolphins can be seen in Milford Sound

There are thought to be over 60 Bottlenose dolphins living in the area, and occasionally visits are made by the dusky dolphin—the Bottlenose’s slightly smaller friend—and the rare southern right whale. You may spot some of these beautiful mammals from the window of your scenic flight, so keep a close eye out for any action!

It rains there for half the year

On average, rain falls in Milford Sound on 182 days of the year. The mean annual rainfall in Milford Sound is 6,813mm, so with most areas of New Zealand experiencing between 600mm and 1600mm of rainfall, it is definitely one of the rainiest parts of the country. This won’t make a different to your scenic flight experience though—the waterfalls look even more spectacular with a good bout of rain!