Lake Tekapo, Mt Cook and the Glaciers from the Air

Published: February 14, 2015

Fifty minutes of pure happiness, this scenic flight is most definitely one of the most amazing on offer in NZ. The time just flew by for us (excuse the pun!).

The flight takes off from Tekapo and you fly over the bright blue lake first, spotting a surprising little island in its midst. Once you’ve gained altitude the show starts and you progressively enter the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. The mountains stretch out to infinity beyond you and the pilot explains that you’re arriving above the Tasman Glacier which is the longest in the country with 33km (20 miles) of ice field. Funnily enough it’s not the most well-known of our glaciers due to the high profile of Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers on the west coast.

The never-ending river of ice gives the impression that no human presence has ever come into contact with it. As you’re just getting over the beauty of it all the two highest peaks in the country loom up in front of you; Mt Tasman at 3487 metres (11,473 feet) and Aoraki Mt Cook at 3754 metres (12,316 feet.) The plane flew so close to their summits that I felt like I could reach out and touch them, what a unique privilege to be able to see such grandeur! And it goes on, the pilot circles the peaks so that you have time to take it all in.

Before heading back towards Tekapo we reached a second national park; the Westland national park and flew over Fox & Franz Josef. I know, they’re smaller than the Tasman, so what’s the point? Sure they’re less impressive to see however you also get to observe their stunning backdrop, the Tasman sea is just there in front of you, it’s very unique to be able to see so much from just one scenic flight

You’ll finally return to Tekapo to come back down to earth in more ways than one and the photo triage will begin as you pick the best of your many images taken during the 50 minute flight. 

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