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“Don't bank on this!! Only 10% work. ” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Air Safaris

Air Safaris
Ranked #4 of 17 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!
Level Contributor
146 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Don't bank on this!! Only 10% work. ”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2017 via mobile

This sounds like a great trip but it rarely works. We did not get to fly and understand less than 10% of flights take place due to weather conditions. You need to make sure you have an alternative plan to see what you want to see . We tried for 3 days and no flights . We were told they had only flown on 4 of the last 40 days !

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
Thank Andy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Air_Safaris, Owner at Air Safaris, responded to this review, 3 weeks ago
Hi Andy H,

We are very sorry you didn’t get to experience our “Grand Traverse” flight; it is a real highlight for people visiting N.Z. I can understand your disappointment with the weather around Mount Cook.

I am very concerned that you have somehow misinterpreted information on the days we operate. In a typical summer we can fly on up to 90% of the days.
This summer has been challenging with the weather across N.Z. but, despite this less than average weather, looking back over the last 40 days we have flown on 30 or more days – in fact the “Grand Traverse” has the best reliability of operation of any aerial activity in the region.

We always need to ensure conditions are safe and scenic for conducting flights.
We operate from a number of different bases and are very flexible around the weather, there is also no charge for any flights that are cancelled due to weather.

Our booking records showed your original internet booking at 9.00am was delayed until 2.00pm the same day due to high winds and cloud. You decided to leave at lunchtime to continue your journey and not wait for an improvement in the weather – our flights recommenced at 1.45pm that afternoon.
We did not have 3 days where we could not fly during that period and I am not sure why you chose not to join our flights later in the day or our flights on the following day if you were in fact staying in the area.
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218 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tweed Heads, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wow wow wow!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2017 via mobile

Do yourselves a favour and book this flight. Our pilot Matt was great with running commentary. Day was perfect

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
1 Thank Jill H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
36 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Choose your seat carefully”
4 of 5 bubbles 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.

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
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 review, 3 weeks ago
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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Valthe, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
39 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful flight.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2017

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

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
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 review, 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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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A Truly Incredible Experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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!

Visited January 2017
Helpful?
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 review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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