Experience the awe inspiring scenery of the West coast, an area of New Zealand's wilderness renowned for its outstanding natural beauty. The Helicopter Line offers both scenic flights and a Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike.
Experience the true untouched beauty and awe inspiring scenery of New Zealand’s West Coast. It's a wild place known for clear, sparkling rivers and lush rainforests; creeping glaciers and geological treasures. Legends and stories from the past cling to every feature of the landscape. Flanked to the west by the Southern Alps and to the east by the Tasman Sea, the West Coast region is a rugged, stretch of native forested land, lakes, mountains, farmland, wild coastline and the location of Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers.
The Helicopter Line has been offering scenic helicopter flights from Fox Glacier village for over 30 years. Their spectacular flights allow people with limited time to ‘get away from it all’ and experience an area of New Zealand’s wilderness renowned for its outstanding natural beauty. View the extraordinary colours of the ice flow, ice caves and pinnacles in this largely inaccessible alpine region.
The Helicopter Line flies from both Fox Glacier and Franz Josef villages. Their helicopter base is centrally located on the Main Street in Franz Josef Glacier and complimentary pick up and drop off transfers are available if required.
Offering a range of scenic helicopter flights from 20 minutes to 40 minutes means they have flights to suit many budgets. Charter flights are also available. Their flights encompass the Mount Cook National Park, and both Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier. All flights include a landing – a very special snow landing on the glacier itself. Being a chosen company with consent to land on the glacier makes the flight a privileged experience.
Flights that explore the glaciers and include a glacier landing:
Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are the fastest growing of any glaciers in the world. From above passengers can view and appreciate the incredible natural phenomenon, towering ice formations and vast size of the glaciers. Top it off with a snow landing and standing on the ancient ice of the glaciers. Passengers also fly over the Tasman Glacier on the eastern side of the Southern Alps and close to Mount Cook/Aoraki, New Zealand’s highest peak.
Flight Time: approx 40 mins (including snow landing)
From Fox or Franz Josef Village fly over both the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, soaring first over the townships and then following the ice flow high up into the upper reaches. Land in the snow at the head of one of the glaciers and survey the path the glacier has carved below.
Flight Time: approx 30 mins (including snow landing)
A first-hand exploration of a glacier by chopper, seeing only what experienced mountaineers can reach is a wilderness experience you’ll never forget.
From our Franz Josef Village base, you’ll fly up to the Franz Josef Glacier in the Westland National Park. You’ll land on a section of this 12km long glacier where we’ve made a daily safety assessment of the conditions on this fast-moving ice flow. Equipped with glacier boots and crampons you’ll walk for two hours amongst the ice formations and pinnacles and see first-hand the extraordinary colours of the ice-flow. Touch the ice, breathe in the fresh air.
We team up with Franz Josef Glacier Guides who have been taking visitors over this epic icefall terrain since 1990 and can trace their heritage back 100 years. They have an immaculate safety record, rigid assessments and using quality equipment, your safety and enjoyment is taken care of.
Tour duration: Allow 4 hours
Ready for an adventure? Part of the mystique of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers is that they are constantly moving. On this flight which glacier is landed on and where is dictated by daily movement of the ice formations and the weather patterns that these vast areas of ice impact.
Flight Time: approx 20 mins (including snow landing)
Everyday the team has the privilege of sharing world class adventures in the wilderness that is their stunning backyard. All pilots have specific experience flying in New Zealand’s alpine environments and have the highest level of Civil Aviation Authority certification for scenic flight operations so are qualified to ensure safety both in the air and on the ground.
Essential Wear for Snow Landings
- Covered shoes (trainers are fine) or hiking boots
- Bring a camera and sense of adventure
- Clothing - Wear comfortable outdoor clothing suitable for wearing on the snow. Occasionally the temperate can be 5-10 degrees cooler on the snow than it is in the village. Check with the ground-crew if unsure of what to wear