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5 of 5 bubbles Review of Air Safaris

Air Safaris
Ranked #3 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!
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Level Contributor
251 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2017

Disappointed because my helicopter tour had been cancelled, I dejectedly headed toward Wanaka.. But, I happened to notice a small office for Air Safaris near Lake Pukaki.. Vacant.. However, there was a number to call.. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I called.. I spoke to Richard who set me up with an air safari from Lake Tekapo which was 40 mins back from where I came.. I went for it anyway. It was longer and less expensive than the helicopter ride would have been (no landing on a glacier on the air safari).

Heading back, I met my fellow travelers our pilot, Joe.. The beauty of the landscapes is unimaginable. Joe took us out and around Aoraki Mt Cook, the Southern Alps and over several of the glacier lakes in an hour air tour. Photo opportunities galore - but don't miss the true beauty of this earth and be sure you actually just take it in with your eyes to marvel at this magnificent creation..

Happily I headed on my way.. Revealing in the grace and serenity of the day.

This is SO worth the time and money I spent (if you read any of my other reviews, you will know that I don't say that about everything..)

Visited March 2017
Thank bas0921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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228 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Gold Coast, Australia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Don't forget your camera and enjoy the amazing scenery from the plane.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2017

The Air Safari over Lake Tekapo was absolutely amazing. We were lucky to have crystal clear weather that day and photos just don't do it any justice. You have to see it yourself to enjoy the experience. Highly recommended for everyone.

Visited December 2016
Thank chris_sharry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Level Contributor
226 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Clear Weather Awesomeness”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2017

I understand that clouds happen, but it was not on this day. This is a must do if the weather is clear. I have heard that multiple times, but I wholeheartedly agree.

Visited February 2017
Thank bsum73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The Grand Traverse is a Superb Experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2017

Air Safaris' Grand Traverse (a one hour flight) is a superb experience! The booking, 'check in', and flight arrangements were all dead easy, friendly and efficient, and the aeroplanes ideal - high wings, large windows, single seat rows meant everyone got a good view, and our pilot (Joe) made sure he passed the main sights 'left and right' to ensure all passengers got the views and photo-ops. The running commentary was also good and informative. I've been on helicopter flights before, and by comparison to Air Safaris they are too short, too noisy, and so much more expensive... take the plane!

Visited January 2017
Thank Susan_C_SN5109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
147 reviews
69 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
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, 2 March 2017
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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