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- A 25-min scenic helicopter flight over the Southern Alps with a 10-min snow landing
- See the incredible peak of Mount Elie de Beaumont, the Southern Alps' northernmost mountain over 3000-metres tall
- Fly over Franz Josef Glaciers, one of the steepest glaciers in New Zealand
- Departs from the meeting point at 10 Main Road, Franz Josef/Waiau
Glacier Explorer Scenic Helicopter FlightThis incredible 25-min scenic helicopter flight will take you over the Southern Alps, Frans Josef Glacier, & Mount Elie De Beaumont.
What to Expect
Take a spectacular scenic helicopter flight over the Southern Alps for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
This 25 min flight departs from Franz Josef Village and flies high over the Southern Alps. You'll see Franz Josef Glacier, after which the town is named and marvel at its beauty. At 12 kilometres long, it's estimated to be around 7000 years old. It's also the steepest and fasting moving glacier in New Zealand and boasts a unique and beautiful ecosystem surrounding it.
You'll also see the impressive peak of Mount Elie de Beaumont. There are 24 peaks over 3000 metres in New Zealand, and sitting at 3109 metres high, Mount Elie de Beaumont is the northernmost "three-thousander" in the country.
Finally, before heading back to base, your pilot will also make a stunning alpine landing high up in the snow so you can take in the scenery and snap some photos of this memorable adventure.
Passengers should allow 1 hr 15 min for the whole experience, including the safety briefing and boarding.
Where we Visit:
- Southern Alps
- Franz Josef Glacier
- Mt Elie de Beaumont
- A snow landing
Frequently Asked Questions
Summer is the peak time of the year for tourism with the most sunshine hours, but fresh snow on the mountains the rest of the year makes for fantastic landing spots and great photos.
Surprisingly, winter is one of the best times to fly here with a lot of cold, clear days. However, the wild West Coast weather changes quickly, and the area can have four seasons in a day at any time of the year. The Operator aims to fly every day of the year if the weather allows.
Check-in is 30 minutes before departure. If your group is larger than ten, please allow 45 minutes.
The office is centrally located in town at 10 Main Road, Franz Josef. After you have checked in, a driver and van will take you to the private helipad just a few minutes down the road.
There is street parking in front of the office; additionally, there is a car park just across the road which is also suitable for camper vans.
Unfortunately, due to the ever-changing weather, The Operator can never 100% guarantee a landing. They aim to inform you at check-in if there is a chance you may be unable to land during the flight and discuss options available with you.
In the fleet, there are two different models of helicopters the MD 520N Notar, which can carry up to 4 passengers (plus an infant) and the Airbus Helicopter H125 (aka AS350 B2 Squirrel), which can carry up to 6 passengers (weight-dependent) plus the pilot.
The Operator is happy for you to request seats; however, they cannot guarantee these as they need to allocate seats according to specific weight and balance regulations. Seating arrangements will be assigned to you at the time of check-in.
There is no minimum age, but a paying adult must accompany each child or infant.
As infants and small children can't pressurize their ears like adults, so The Operator recommends bringing a dummy, bottle or something for them to suck during the last 2-3 minutes of the flight as we descend.
The Operator recommends you bring a warm jacket, sunglasses, sturdy footwear and your camera/phone for some fantastic photos.
For safety reasons, The Operator does not allow selfie sticks, drones, flammable liquids, lighters, open food or drink and any bags larger than a small handbag on any of the flights.
You do need to be able to get in and out of the helicopter, but The Operator will do their best to assist you with this. However, due to limited assistance being available on the landing sites, you may have to stay in the helicopter during the landing. If you have limited mobility, please let the Operator know at the time of booking.
If you suffer from motion sickness in cars or boats, The Operator would suggest taking your regular motion sickness medication or consulting your pharmacist before your flight. In the unlikely event that you are unwell, sick bags are carried in all the helicopters and vans.
- There is not a lot of space in the helicopters. Selfie sticks, large bags and backpacks are best left behind, or with office staff for safe keeping
- Flights, and snow landings are subject to weather conditions and are at the pilot's discretion
- Passengers should arrive 30 minutes before departure
- A minimum of 4 passengers is required for the flight to operate
- All flights must meet the helicopters Weight & Balance requirements, this is based on the group of passengers weight spread throughout the machine not any individuals weight
- Cancellations require 24 hours notice before the scheduled departure time
- Late cancellations and no-shows will be charged for their flights
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