Flying over Mount Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain was an unexpected bonus on an already spectacular helicopter flight. While driving up the rugged west coast of New Zealand’s South Island we stopped in the Fox Valley. Many years earlier, when the girls were really young, we had visited and after leaving made a decision that if we ever returned, we would take a helicopter tour and walk on Fox Glacier.
This was our chance. There were many packages to choose from, and we opted for a mid-priced adventure to both Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, which included the walk. However, the only other couple in the office wanted to see Mount Cook, so the four of us were upgraded to the top package. I am pleased to say, I really enjoyed the ride, much more than I tend to enjoy small planes. Hubby and the girls loved it too.
|Heli Hike Fox Glacier||Fly-in, fly-out Fox Glacier Heli hike|
All gear and clothing included
|Mount Cook Ultimate Alpine Skiplane and Heli Experience||Views from above in a ski plane and helicopter|
Land on the Tasman Glacier
Views of the Tasman Terminal Lake, Grand Plateau, and Plateau Hut
|Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight departing Fox Glacier||Expert alpine pilot /guide|
Flight over the twin glaciers of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier
Snow landing at the head of either one
|Fox Glacier and Mount Cook Helicopter Flight||Flight to Fox Glacier|
Land in the snow at the summit
An aerial tour of the Southern Alps with views of Mt Cook (Aoraki)
Mount Cook from the air
I found I lost a bit of perspective from the air. It was difficult to be sure just how large this mountain really is. Then the pilot pointed out two cabins. Look closely – there are two cabins at about one-third of the way up this photo:
A Few Aoraki/Mount Cook Facts:
- It is New Zealand’s tallest mountain.
- The highest point is at 3,754 metres.
- It is part of Te Wahipounamu (Maori meaning “the place of greenstone”), a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1990 and covers 26,000 km², including several New Zealand National Parks.
- There are 72 named glaciers on Mount Cook.
- Mount Cook is called Aoraki in Maori, the language of New Zealand’s indigenous people.