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“Stunning scenery!”
5 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
86 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Stunning scenery!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Really enjoyed our Grand Traverse. The views were spectacular and the pilot did an awesome job of banking turns so both sides got a great view. He was also very knowledgable and told us all about the lakes, mountains, rivers, glaciers, high country stations, etc. Highly recommend this amazing flight!

Visited April 2017
Thank Sarshy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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228 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
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
119 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Absolutely stunning ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Was recommended either a heli or plane tour of Mt Cook and the glaciers. Unfortunately, being over on the east coast I couldn't arrange one from Franz Joseph.

Had heard that Air Safaris ran one from Tekapo, booked one and crossed my fingers for good weather!

The day of my flight, the weather was perfect, blue skies, light wind. There were only 2 other passengers, so we were sat all on the right hand side so all got excellent views. Our pilot was an excellent guide, not too intrusive and let the stunning scenery speak for itself. I never imagined getting so close to Mt Cook, or the glaciers, or seeing the Lake in all its beauty.

Many photo ops, but my advise is limit yourself, and take it n with your eyes! The hour flight flew by, literally, and I was left in awe. My advise it, book one, and do everything you can to fly on a sunny clear day. Well worth re arranging plans, you will not see anything like it for sure. The highlight of my NZ trip.

Visited April 2017
Thank padprod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
“Fantastic views of the mountain ranges & glaciers , well worth the money😀”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Booked flight with the lovely staff at Franz Josef office for Air Safaris. Were very helpful about changing the flight times for the plane trip as the low cloud cover over the village was stopping anyone from flying a lot of vthe day.
Fortunately after waiting til mid afternoon frequently checking back with the helpful Christine & pilot Tony , they got clearance for the only flight for the whole day!!The cloud staying over Franz Josef Glacier was stopping the helicopters from taking off all day, so really glad we had chosen "The Grand Traverse " comprehensive plane tour of NZ's highest peaks & glaciers.
Flew up to 10000 ft at times,so close to Mt Cook, Tony gave us so many photo opportunities. It was beautiful ,clear skies & sunshine as we flew over the mountains.Fantastic views & 50 min flight was pretty smooth, we all had window seats & my husband got to sit in the copilot's seat, esp great views for him! Fantastic photo opportunities,expensive but a once in a lifetime chance for us ,so glad we got to go!

Visited March 2017
Thank butterflyjulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
172 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Expensive but spectacular ”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

My wife and I decided to take the Grand Traverse trip which lasted one hour. I was a little reluctant at first as at $340 for 2 it seemed expensive. However afterwards I felt it was well worth the money. I was lucky enough to sit in the co pilots seat, but the view was excellent from every seat. The pilot Tim was very professional, knowledgeable and friendly. A once in a lifetime experience which I would highly recommend.

Visited March 2017
Thank PeterLeggett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Level Contributor
251 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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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