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Scenic Flight with Air Safaris, Lake Takepo
To really appreciate the sheer size and scale of New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers, you really have to see it from above. And if you were going to pick one place in New Zealand to do a scenic flight then this should be up there as a top priority.
Doing The Grand Traverse with Air Safaris will leave you truly gob-smacked. If you thought you’d seen some amazing things on your travels already, then this will totally blow your mind.
“So what’s in store on The Grand Traverse?’’, I hear you cry.
Well, not only will you fly over two World Heritage National Parks, you will be amazed by the 200kms tour over New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers.
Taking off over golden tussock fields, you’ll start by gliding over the turquoise glacial lakes and huge glacial valleys of the Mackenzie Basin to the vast snowfields and dramatic icefalls of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers – cascading down to the coastal plains and rainforests of Westland.
And if that wasn’t enough excitement, you’ll also get up close and personal to Mount Aoraki (Mount Cook) at 3764 metres, then Mount Tasman, and over the 29km long Tasman Glacier. Mount Cook is surrounded by well over 150 other spectacular peaks higher than 2300 metres, plus countless glaciers, ice and snow fields, mountain lakes and ranges.
Plus you don’t need to have genned up on the area too much beforehand, as your friendly pilot will fill you in on all the details with a commentary throughout the flight, so you know exactly where you are.
One thing’s definitely for certain – you’ll feel like you’ve been to a totally awe-inspiring place which will stay with you long after you get home.
Air Safaris have regular departures from Lake Tekapo and Franz Josef. They also operate from Glentanner Park and Mount Cook.
The Grand Traverse flight lasts approximately 45 minutes, but allow for one hour total duration.
Air Safaris has been running since 1970, and operates the largest scenic aeroplane fleet in New Zealand.
Every passenger gets a window seat, and all aircraft have wings above, so you get the best view below.
For reservations and enquiries for departures from Lake Tekapo and Glentanner call: 0800 806 880, and for Franz Josef call: 0800 723 274.
You can also call Air Safaris on 03 680 6880, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.airsafaris.co.nz
Written by Rachel Pinder, 2009
Rachel Pinder stayed atYHA Lake Tekapo at 3 Simpson Lane, with amazing views to the sapphire blue of the lakefront and the mountains beyond. For more details call: 03 680 6857 or Freephone: 0800 278 299. You can also email: email@example.com or visit www.yha.co.nz