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. The rugged West Coast is hemmed between the wild Tasman Sea rolling in to its western coastline and the vast Southern Alps to the east. It is remote and sparsely populated, boasting two of the world’s most accessible glaciers, the Franz Josef and the Fox Glacier.
The Helicopter Line has been offering scenic helicopter flights from Franz Josef Glacier village for over 30 years.
Our 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.
Not only do we offer spectacular scenic helicopter flights with year round glacier landings, but we also offer the amazing Franz Josef Heli Hike
– combining a helicopter flight over, then a hike on the Franz Josef Glacier. The Helicopter Line flies from both Fox Glacier and Franz Josef villages. Our 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 we have flights to suit many budgets. Charter flights are also available. Our flights encompass the Mount Cook National Park, and both Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier. All our 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:
This premier flight lets you experience two of New Zealand’s finest National Parks, divided by the imposing Southern Alps. Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier snowfields with a landing at around 7000ft. Step out of your helicopter and experience how it feels to walk on snow. Then follow the Main Divide for fantastic views of the Tasman Glacier and Aoraki/Mount Cook before heading down towards the lush rainforests at the edge of the Tasman Sea.
Flight Time: approx 40 mins (including snow landing)
Fly over two of New Zealand’s most famous glaciers and marvel at the mantle of pure white snow as you land at the head of either the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier. This landing site is the perfect place to view the incredible natural phenomenon of the glaciers as they wind slowly down the carved valleys from their origin in the mountains high above you.
Flight Time: approx 30 mins (including snow landing)
The perfect opportunity to get up close to the glaciers and touch snow. You’ll be captivated as you lift off and fly up and over the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier and experience the solitude of a landing in this wonderful natural alpine environment.
Flight Time: approx 20 mins (including snow landing)
(Available from Franz Josef Glacier only)
Discover up close the magnificent natural phenomenon of the stunning West Coast glaciers. Combine an awesome scenic helicopter flight over Franz Josef Glacier with a unique guided walk amongst the ice caves, pinnacles and seracs of this pristine alpine environment. You’ll see the extraordinary colours of the ice-flow from above, and then up close, on an unforgettable guided hike amongst the glacial ice formations with the professional and experienced Franz Josef Glacier Guides. This 2 hour walking adventure is suitable for people of average fitness or above. Heli Hikes are available to people 10 years and older.
Total Trip Time: 3 hours
At The Helicopter Line
, we enjoy the highest level of Civil Aviation Authority certification for scenic helicopter operations; this involves regular monitoring and audit of all aspects of our operations.
Our professionally trained pilots have specific experience flying in New Zealand's alpine environments, and all of our crew are qualified to ensure your 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 our ground-crew if you are unsure of what to wear