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“A must do experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Air Safaris

Air Safaris
Ranked #3 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!
Hunter Valley
Level Contributor
85 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A must do experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2011

I was lucky enough to win two scenic flights with Air Safaris, which I was able to take on my recent trip to NZ. While battling with the highly changeable NZ weather caused some delays in being able to fly, once up in the air we realised how worthwhile it was to wait for a window of clear weather.
The Grand Traverse flight starts from Lake Tekapo airstrip just outside of the town. The team at Air Safaris were very friendly & efficient and we found the whole operation highly professional.
Up in the air, the scenery was amazing. Having visited the area several times before, the Air Safaris tour gave us a completely different perspective. The Mackenzie basin,high country stations, the expansive glacial valleys & their blue lakes, the snow covered mountains, glaciers, and of course the jewell Aoraki Mount Cook.
The pilot gave great information on the area, reassured our nerves when we encountered a little unexpected turbulence, and prepared us for what was coming up next so we could have our cameras at the ready.
I would highly recommend this activity to anyone wanting to get up close and personal with this beautiful area. Having explored the region from both land and water for a few days prior, I can honestly say that the Air Safaris Grand Traverse was an excellent showcasing of the magnificence of this area. Thanks Tim, Tom, Bella & team for an extremely memorable experience.

Visited October 2011
Thank woolygirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Annabelle A, Marketing & Sales at Air Safaris, responded to this review, 17 November 2011
Thank you very much for your comment. I'm so pleased you enjoyed your flight - it's great to get a perspective on this area from the air!!
It was great you could hang around for the weather to clear ... the weather can be very challenging here but it's all part of its charm.
I hope you enjoyed your time in Lake Tekapo :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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228 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
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English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A great way to see Mount Cook and the glaciers”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2010

We went on the Air Safaris scenic flight from Lake Tekapo and had a fantastic flight. The pilot was knowledgable and friendly and his commentary was first class. We flew over Lake Tekapo and up to the Southern Alps, we had fantastic views of the Fox, Franz Josef and Tasman glaciers and the flight went right round Mount Cook and incredibly close to the mountain itself.
Definitely worth doing if you're in the area as it's a great way to see the mountains.

Thank tpodUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
“A definite must. Great flight coupled...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2010

A definite must. Great flight coupled with the pilots amazing knowledge of the area. Breath taking scenery.

Thank Mfoggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing flight”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2008

We decided to take Air Safaris Grand Traverse from Franz Joseph. We had a superb view of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps from the 8 seater fixed wing plane. There were breathtaking views of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. We flew really close to the peaks and, because everyone had a window seat, we could all take some great photos. The glaciers are amazing as are the views along the coast. Our pilot was most helpful and informative. Definitely a highlight of our time in New Zealand

1 Thank 2poms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Texas
Level Contributor
194 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“Grand Traverse of Mt. Cook”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2008

We boarded the small 8 passenger plane outside of Lake Tekapo at Air Safaris for The Grand Traverse of Mt. Cook. As we took off we could see the beautiful turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo beneath us. We flew over the high country sheep farms where the merino sheep are raised . We continued to climb over riverbeds carved by glaciers many years ago. Soon we were flying among the peaks of the Southern Alps, an amazing site. The massive Tasman, Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers were stunning in the afternoon sunlight. The pilot pointed out the West coast of the South Island which was clearly visible between the mountain peaks. We circled near the peak of Mt. Cook, it was a breathtaking site. The pilot made sure to get great photos opportunities out of both sides of the airplane. Soon it was time to head back to the airport and we landed safely after being in the air for almost one hour.
The flight with Air Safaris was the highlight of our trip and one that we will always remember.

4 Thank gayla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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