One of our favourite #nzmustdo photo spots

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

wanaka scenic flight

Holidaying from China Peter decided to ‘treat’ his folks to a scenic flight.  Not just any flight though, since Mum is a keen photographer he wanted to take a flight that would give her plenty of opportunities for photos.  After talking with us he chose our Mighty Milford Scenic Flight … a 3hr excursion that would cover a diverse section of the lower South Island.

Choosing his date Peter got lucky, not only a perfect day for flying… but Tim was his pilot!  One of Tim’s many talents is he’s handy with a camera!

He captured this great great family “snap shot” at one of his favourite landing locations.

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Going topless on the Isobel

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Glacier landing wanaka scenic flight

Glacier Landing

Pictured: HAH, Isobel Glacier … and the team from Melbourne David ( Birthday boy), Darren, Sam, Hersh, Rose, Vinnie, Anthony, Leon  and Jeff

It’s always fun when we have a group booking, especially on a blue-bird day like this one was.  Two helicopters, lots of smiling faces and everyone fizzing from start to finish.

This great group were celebrating a ‘belated’ 60th for their friend with a Melbourne boys week in Wanaka.  They had a jam-packed itinerary with a Glacier Landing scenic flight as one of the highlights of their trip.

We’d been experiencing some serious shirts off weather in Wanaka the week prior but it was a hoot to see this group go bare-chested on our glacier. Nice one boys!

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Win the ultimate Wanaka long weekend

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Wanaka scenic flight with glacier Landing on the Isobel Glacier

We’ve teamed up with Lake Wanaka Tourism and Hyundai in the ultimate Wanaka getaway giveaway for “Kiwis”. As part of the package we are giving away a scenic flight with a glacier landing on the Isobel Glacier. Visit the Lake Wanaka page and click through to choose your favourite Hyundai and go in the draw for an autumn treat this year!

Entries close on the 18th February.

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A summer of SAR

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

Volunteers go through the drills

Volunteers go through the drills

Setting up for search and rescue missions in the Southern Alps backcountry takes some serious pre-preparation and with the number of rescues completed during the summer months it’s important to have the whole team up-to-scratch when the call comes in.

The Alpine Cliff Rescue Team undertook their annual refresher training with Aspiring Helicopters recently. It’s intensive and even the old hands get put through the ringer under watchful eyes from above.

‘Human Sling’ training at Twin Falls and Treble Cone followed by glacier rescue training has given everyone plenty of practice so they’re up to speed for those sticky situations.

We know helicopters give you the full adrenaline buzz when it comes to scenic flights, remote glacier landings and the like but they become an essential rescue tool if you find yourself in strife in New Zealand’s backcountry.

We’re happy to be part of the team of Police and local volunteers lending a helping hand when it comes to saving those more adventurous soles from experiencing a less than pleasant end to their trip.

Stay safe out there this summer team!

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Pilot James swoops in to lighten the load for volunteers protecting our backyard

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Project Manager Paul Hellebrakers sorts the traps for flight

Project Manager Paul Hellebrakers sorts the traps for flight

The West Matukituki valley is a showcase destination and one we appreciate flying people over every day. With such easy access It also draws thousands of visitors a year to explore it’s numerous tracks and hiking routes including the well known Rob Roy Glacier.

As with most national parks in the South Island rodents like the dreaded stoat pose a significant problem and we rely heavily on volunteers to reduce their impact. A job that is often labour intensive and earns little recognition.

Last week we helped lighten the load for local volunteers, lifting more than 90 box stoat traps up the valley to be set up by the volunteers.

The initiative is part of the ongoing work of The Matukituki Charitable Trust. A trust that was established to protect this natural wonder and to restore the habitat and increase the population of some of our favourite locals like the lovable Kea and tiny Rock Wrens!

Thanks to the volunteers there are now in excess of 400 traps in the West Matukituki taking care of those pesky vermin.

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Aspiring Helicopters jump on board with Motorhome Republic – making visiting New Zealand a breeze and a unique experience

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Camper and chopper

It’s spring in the lower South Island. The lambs are feeding, the weather is fickle and the white motorhome parade has begun!

Wanaka has been flying slightly under the radar as a destination for a long time but with the help of Motorhome Republic we look forward to a little more attention this summer.

The Motorhome Republic website provides an all-inclusive global online booking center for motorhomes as well as great travel tips and itinerary ideas for the modern New Zealand traveller.

Not only do they make booking a motorhome easy they also go that extra mile and offer specific motorhome orientated itineraries; a neat feature for visitors who want some inspiration to make their trip unique.

Naturally one of the many bonuses of being “free as the breeze” is the ability to get off-the-beaten track, see those special sights and stay longer in locations that leave you hankering for more…. like Wanaka!

Aspiring Helicopters is also privileged to be featured on Motorhome Republic’s website as one of their recommended activities. The website focus is to suggest activities that are considered “rare gems that are unique to motorhome customers that add experiential qualities to the itinerary”.

Sometimes simply seeing a helicopter take off is inspiration enough to treat yourself to a scenic flight. But it’s always nice to have someone else lend a helping hand to get the word out there.

With summer just around the corner we hope people will take Motorhome Republic’s recommendation and linger a little in Wanaka and make the most of what locals affectionately call “Godzone”.

Check out their site here:

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Introducing Whare Kea Chalet – an exclusive luxury alpine experience with Aspiring Helicopters

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Whare Kea Chalet surrounded by snow over the winter months

Whare Kea Chalet surrounded by snow over the winter months

We are excited to now be operating the Whare Kea Chalet, offering an exclusive luxury adventure base and mountain accommodation high in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.
The Chalet sits on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park at 1750m on the north side of Dragonfly Peak – a 15 minute heli flight from our base in the Matukituki Valley.
The panoramic views of Mt Aspiring and Mt Cook are outstanding – as is the heliskiing by winter and the hiking during the warmer months.
You can visit the Chalet by day – combine an incredible scenic flight of your choice with stopping in to the Chalet to enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch on the deck.  Or ultimately,  up to 6 people can stay overnight with comfy beds, hot showers, gas cooking and awake to the astounding mountain views.  During the winter months you can take heliskiing to a whole new level by using the Chalet as your base for gourmet lunch and apres ski drinks and nibbles.
The Whare Kea Chalet was the dream of Martyn Myer of the prominent Myer Melbourne retail family.  He and his wife Louise have been visiting Wanaka for over 20 years, first for the heliskiing and then for year round adventures throughout the seasons.  The unique design and location of the “luxury mountain hut” was an extension of the luxuries offered at their lakeside Whare Kea Lodge, and has enabled them to share what they love so much about Wanaka and surrounds with their guests – giving many who may have never stayed at high altitude the chance to experience this magnificent alpine environment.
As relaxing or as adventurous as you like – the Chalet offers something for everyone.  Take a look at our Chalet page, the amazing webcam views or contact us at for information about creating your own personalised exclusive chalet experience with Aspiring Helicopters.

Whare Kea Chalet with Mt Aspiring in the background

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Heliskiing Fever!!

Monday, June 30th, 2014


You can feel the excitement building in Wanaka today, with a significant amount of snow having settled on the peaks yesterday, and more forecast over the next couple of days.
Here at Aspiring Helicopters we are all geared up for another epic Heliski season. With the snow continuing to fall, and the terrain on offer, it is shaping up  to be another incredible season.
Whether you are are heliski pro, or a first timer, we can cater to all abilities and group sizes.
You can contact us either through our online webpage enquiry, by phone or direct email and we can answer any questions you have.
Heliski 2014

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Essential Wanaka Combo

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Aspiring Helicopters have teamed up with local operators Wanaka River Journeys and Ridgeline Adventures to offer you an amazing combo tour which includes a thrilling Jet Boat ride on the Matukituki Valley, a Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing, and a 4WD Safari tour through a High Country Farm.

This is a fantastic way to enjoy the best Wanaka has to offer – all in one day.  Saving you time and money!

Tours depart 9.45am from Wanaka iSite, or from local accommodation.

Contact us today for more information, or to make a booking.


Ridgeline Adventures

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Harpers Bazaar Australia September 2013 Issue

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

Harpers Bazaar September 2013 Issue


Aspiring Helicopters was privileged to be a part of a stunning photo shoot at Whare Kea Lodge and Chalet for the September issue of Harpers Bazaar Australia.   The location provided an amazing backdrop for their ‘apres-ski’ chic fashion shoot. Photographs by Simon Upton, and styled by Thelma McQuillan, and of course piloted by our very own James Ford.

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