A scenic flight by helicopter is the ultimate way to see the natural beauty of New Zealand. The convenience of these tours is unsurpassed as helicopters depart and land directly from the Lodge’s Great Lawn. Otahuna Lodge has developed the following exclusive helicopter itineraries for guests:
Best of Canterbury
An amazing half-day introduction to many of the highlights of a stay in Canterbury. Depart from Otahuna and fly over dramatic Lyttelton Harbour and up the coast of the Pacific Ocean before landing in the Waipara wine region at Pegasus Bay or Black Estate wineries. Here, a wine tasting will be offered before a delightful lunch of the very best New Zealand fare. In the afternoon you will fly into the breath-taking scenery of the snow-capped Southern Alps for a mountaintop landing with staggering views west toward the South Island’s Main Divide and east across the Canterbury Plains to the Banks Peninsula.
Kaikoura Whale Watch
Departing Otahuna, the helicopter tracks directly over Christchurch and up the coast of the South Island to the seaside town of Kaikoura. Transfer is then offered to the Kaikoura Whale Watch helicopter for a 40-minute whale watch. Guests will enjoy an unsurpassed opportunity to view mighty sperm whales, Dusky dolphins and New Zealand fur seals from the air. The return flight provides the ability to stop for lunch at Pegasus Bay Winery or Black Estate.
Mt Cook Spectacular
This “only in New Zealand” helicopter adventure offers an incredible opportunity to visit the nation’s tallest peak: Aoraki Mt Cook at 3,754m (12,316ft), and to see the South Island’s diverse landscapes and to visit an iconic highcountry farm. From Otahuna, guests fly across the chequerboard Canterbury Plains and into rolling hills followed by the alpine tussocks of the remote Mackenzie Country. As you approach Mt Cook National Park you will be greeted with exceptional views of glacial lakes before seeing the mountain itself. In the park you have the option to enjoy a gourmet picnic hamper or lunch at The Hermitage Hotel with a guided walk around this treasured wilderness area. In the afternoon plan to fly along the Main Divide, the spine of New Zealand’s spectacular Southern Alps, before landing at a New Zealand sheep station. There, you will meet the farm’s owners and have an overview of life in Canterbury’s back country before returning to Otahuna’s grounds. This is truly a Canterbury adventure without equal.
Heli - Skiing
Canterbury’s Southern Alps offer arguably the best variety of back country, helicopter-accessed terrain available in New Zealand. Within 25 minutes from the Lodge you can be skiing or snowboarding on over 1,000 square kilometres of mountains and hundreds of named runs beyond the headwaters of the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers. The terrain is remote and spectacular, with many glaciated runs exceeding 1,000 vertical metres from which you can even gaze at views of both the Pacific Ocean in the East and the Tasman Sea in the West. Single and multi-day heli-skiing adventures can be arranged based upon guests’ ability and specific interests.