Scenic Flights South Island
Aoraki Mt Cook National Park contains the most dramatic views in New Zealand. The tallest peaks in the country are here, with Mt Cook itself rising 12,300ft above sea level. Adjoining Mt Cook and carving its eastern base is the Tasman Glacier, the longest in New Zealand at 27 kilometers. The dry, flat Mackenzie basin is home to the massive glacial lakes running from Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps. The lakes have a pale, milky color due to the miles-wide braided rivers running directly from the glaciers.
The park has a rich history of mountain climbing expedition. Sir Edmund Hillary used the park as his training ground for his successful attempt to be the first to climb Mt Everest. The Hermitage Hotel, as well as being the base camp for Hillary and thousands of other climbers since 1884, is home to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
On the western side of the Southern Alps and Aoraki/Mt Cook, Westland Tai Poutini National Park fades out into the Tasman Sea. Facing directly into the prevailing Northwest winds, the Westland Tai Poutini National Park receives 10-15 meters of rain per year, far more than the eastern side.
Lush rainforests cover the western side, from the mountain slopes all the way out to sea, continuously encroaching on the towns and roads. The park is known for the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, though there are several more glaciers that feed the rivers and valleys out to the Tasman Sea.
A scenic flight is definitely one of the best ways to view this dramatic and beautiful South Island scenery. Choose from our options below.