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“Choose your seat carefully”
Review of Air Safaris

Air Safaris
Ranked #4 of 18 things to do in Lake Tekapo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This premier Aoraki / Mount Cook flightseeing experience, 'The Grand Traverse' encompasses two World Heritage National Parks in a tour of 200kms amongst New Zealand's highest mountains and largest glaciers. From the golden tussock lands, turquoise glacier lakes and huge glacial valleys of the Mackenzie Basin around Aoraki Mt Cook, Mt Tasman and the Tasman Glacier to the coastal plains of Westland and the dramatic icefalls of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Every passenger has a window seat and all aircraft have wings-above to ensure optimum viewing below. Pilots provide a full and informative commentary with multi language commentary brochures supplied. We also offer exciting helicopter flights from Tekapo with alpine landing and an incredible Combo Flightseeing Experience featuring the MacKenzie Explorer heli-flight plus Grand Traverse fixed wing. The best of both worlds!
Reviewed 16 February 2017 via mobile

Grand traverse: superb views over lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, glaciers, mt cook, mountains, etc. Really magnificent.

However choose your seats carefully. The best ones are in the front and back of the plane. Unfortunately for me, i ended up in a seat in the middle section and the views were obscured by the wing, which was frustrating.

Also, if you can only afford 1 air trip while in South Island, in my opinion the "fly cruise fly" package from Queenstown to Milford sound offers better value for money. It only costs 30% more but you get 2 x 35 min flights and a 2h cruise.

Thank frogabroad1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Air_Safaris, Owner at Air Safaris, responded to this reviewResponded 2 March 2017

Hi Frogabroad1,

Thanks very much for your review, we are really happy you enjoyed your “Grand Traverse” flight and got superb views.

The seating in our aircraft is allocated by the pilot at loading, we have a strict loading policy to ensure our aircraft stay within weight & balance limitations.
In saying this, depending on load, we do have some flexibility to allow for personal preference.

All seats have a window and the wings are above and scenery below so they should not obscure the view. Our pilots also fly with gentle turns where appropriate to help with viewing angles around our higher mountains ie Aoraki Mount Cook.

The “Grand Traverse” is regarded as the best value for money in the Mount Cook / Westland Region and covers all of our largest glaciers and biggest mountains. In reference to Milford flights it is hard for us to comment as there is a large variation in rates on flights there depending on season/demand, time of day etc. and quite a number of companies offering very similar packages. We certainly do strive to deliver best prices while maintaining a high quality operation and operating our two aerodromes.

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Reviews (239)
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25 - 29 of 239 reviews

Reviewed 9 February 2017

Excellent flight, beautiful views, well worth the money. Would gladly do it again. We had the luck of clear weather.

Thank mdaams53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Air_Safaris, Director of Sales at Air Safaris, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2017

Hi Mdaams53,

Thanks a lot for your review!

Glad you had a great experience with us and the weather was on your side, it does make it all that more special when we have awesome weather.

Hope you have a lovely day :)

Air Safaris

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Reviewed 30 January 2017

We arranged our Air Safari months in advance as we would be visiting New Zealand from San Francisco. The day we were scheduled to go on our Air Safari, the weather was not cooperating. The fine folks at the Air Safari office suggested we check back later in the day. When we checked back, there were still storms on the way and we weren't able to do our air safari as planned, but they did offer an alternate experience. Tim Rayward took us up in a helicopter (just not as high as the Cessna would've been able to go). We landed at a high point, took in the incredible views, and learned about the area and it's history. Tim is a really nice guy and an awesome pilot. Thanks Tim!

1  Thank THSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Air_Safaris, Director of Sales at Air Safaris, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2017

Hi THSF,

Sorry that the weather wasn't the greatest on your day of arrival! It has been a little challaging this season, especially more so for the pilots wanting to get up in the air to share the experience with people like yourself.

We do try our best to accomodate.. were glad it payed off and you enjoyed the flight!

Thanks so much for your review we do appreciate it.

Have a great day :)

Kind Regards,

Air Safaris

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Reviewed 29 January 2017

The Grand Traverse is a real winner. It's a one-hour flight up Lake Tekapo across the Divide to the West Coast to see Fox, Franz Josef and Tasman glaciers, then around Mt. Cook and other peaks and across the valleys and rivers to home.

High winds, clouds and rain had prevented most flights for several months when we arrived. Fortunately, on the morning of the day we left, the heavens cleared.and the 9 am flight took off with me on-board. They even picked me up at my hotel in Lake Tekapo. Great pilot. I got to play co-pilot and shot a lot of great photos.

Ride was incredibly smooth with minimal turbulence. I highly recommend flying over and around mountains to add another incredible dimension to experiencing the Southern Alps .

Thank Silverstreak46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Air_Safaris, Director of Sales at Air Safaris, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2017

Hi Silvestreak46,

Thanks a lot for your review!

We're pleased you enjoyed your flight with us and your overall experience of the Southern Alps was incredible.

Have a great day.

Kind Regards,

Air Safaris

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Reviewed 25 January 2017

This adventure gave me the best views of all the trips that I took while in New Zealand. While staying in Lake Tekapo, I decided to try this and am I glad I did. The pilot (Tom) gave us a great view of Mt Cook as well as the glaciers surrounding it. We did a complete fly around Mt. Cook and he took the time to point out lots of impressive images for us to photograph.

Thank Zalster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Air_Safaris, Director of Sales at Air Safaris, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2017

Hi Zalster,

Thank you for taking the time to write us a review and share your experience with others, we do appreciate it!

Seems like you enjoyed your flight with us which is great we do aim to show as much as we possibly can making sure people do get some great shots and memories of our beautiful mountains.

Have a great day :)

Kind Regards,

Air Safaris

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