In September, Luxury Travel Consultant Catherine Brown spent a week and a half exploring New Zealand where she had the opportunity to take a New Zealand helicopter tour with pilot Alfie Speight. She describes the experience below.
We woke on our last morning in Queenstown to a brilliant sunrise and clear skies. With fingers crossed, we headed to breakfast – and over our first cup of coffee got the call. “The weather has cleared at Milford Sound, and we are good to go!” Excited, we jumped in the car, and headed straight over to the hangar. After a safety briefing, we boarded our private helicopter and took off, enjoying the views of Queenstown and sparkling Lake Wakatipu as they retreated beneath us.
When traveling with Ker & Downey, you have the incredible opportunity to take a New Zealand helicopter tour with the legendary Alfie Speight at the helm. Alfie is Peter Jackson’s primary pilot for movies shot in New Zealand, and has handled all of the filming for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Alfie knows exactly where to find the most dramatic scenery in Queenstown and throughout the country, and can tell you where certain scenes were filmed, making the trip even more spectacular. It is easy to see why New Zealand was chosen for them films. As we flew over the Remarkable mountains, the craggy range felt like it was just a few meters beneath us. The views of ancient forests and glittering rivers were jaw dropping. It was absolutely thrilling.
We headed West, seeing the iconic road to Milford stretch out beneath us.
Finally, we arrived in stunning Milford Sound, where upon landing we were completely surrounded by brilliant green mountains emerging from the deep blue water.
After capturing photographs, we boarded our cruise that would take us through the fjord. After seeing the Sound from the air, cruising gave us an entirely new perspective. From sea level, the mountains tower overhead, with spectacular waterfalls at every turn. We saw families of seals lounging on the rocks, amazing birdlife, and even spotted a dolphin on the return to port.
Meeting up with our pilot once again, we lifted off through the clouds to make our way back Queenstown. En route, we stopped on the side of a mountain to take in the view. There are not many more awe inspiring experiences than to stand alone, surrounded by sheer cliffs and jagged peaks, without another soul for miles. It was something I will never forget.
We returned to Queenstown completely dazzled by this incredible experience. It is no wonder that a visit to the iconic Milford Sound is on the top of all bucket lists. Get there, and go now!
To follow in Catherine’s footsteps with a New Zealand helicopter tour, contact your Luxury Travel Consultant. Stay up to date with all our online content by following us on Facebook and Twitter.