Our Destinations

Our Destinations

”From the sea for as far inland as the eye can reach, nothing is to be seen but the summits of these rocky mountains which seem to lay so near one another as not to admit any valleys between them.” ~ James Cook describing Fiordland in 1770


Te Anau

The gateway to Fiordland and the main town in the area, Te Anau sits on the shores of the lake of the same name. The largest lake in the South Island, Lake Te Anau is a destination in its own right. Te Anau (pronounced Tee An – ow) means “the swirling cave” and is likely named after the underwater glowworm caves which formed part of Maori legend and were rediscovered in 1948.

A bustling little town with a good number of shops, restaurants and tourist amenities, Te Anau is a great place to base yourself for your Fiordland adventure. Summer can be very busy and it is worth booking early with us for this time of year.

Our local recommendations

Fiordland Cinema – www.fiordlandcinema.co.nz
A wonderful boutique cinema showing the latest releases and exclusive showings of “Ata Whenua – Shadowlands”, which takes you on an evocative and unforgettable journey through Fiordland.

Black Dog Bar – www.blackdogbar.co.nz
Situated next to Fiordland Cinema in the heart of Te Anau, this locals’ favourite serves a hand-picked selection of New Zealand’s fine wines as well as a fantastic line-up of whiskeys and all your favourite drops. Gourmet tapas and platters can also be enjoyed and can be combined with a movie at the cinema.

The Cinema Suites – www.thecinemasuites.co.nz
If you are looking for Te Anau accommodation with a difference, you will find it at The Cinema Suites. Hidden away in the heart of Te Anau, experience a romantic, luxurious getaway with stylish design, bespoke interiors and a spectacular forest wall panorama.

Lake Manapouri

A stunning lake dotted with thirty-three small islands, Manapouri is the second deepest lake in New Zealand and the starting point for day trips to Doubtful Sound or the Dusky Track. At the end of West Arm a large hydro power station, built in 1959, can be witnessed.

Also known as New Zealand’s “loveliest lake”, Lake Manapouri sits within the boundaries of Fiordland National Park and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.

The quiet township of Manapouri is a 20 minute drive away from Te Anau. It’s the perfect place to relax and take in the views of the Cathedral Mountains surrounding the lake.

Any scenic flights headed towards the southern Fiordland area, will fly over this picturesque lake.

Helicopter Trip Routes

Many of our Doubtful Sound Scenic Helicopter Flights take you across Lake Manapouri. From above you can appreciate the quiet vastness of the lake and the numerous islands it holds.

Book a Scenic Helicopter Flight Online>>

Milford Sound

Stunning Milford Sound

Described by Rudyard Kipling as the eighth wonder of the world, Milford Sound has to be seen to be believed. The sheer scale of the towering mountains which rise up over a mile from the waters beneath will leave you in awe.

Every year, thousands of people visit Milford Sound on bus tours, taking a 2 hour boat cruise on the fiord itself.  But Fiordland Helicopters will take you further, showing you the incomparable beauty of Milford Sound and Fiordland by air.  You can only really experience the scale and grandeur of the scenery by flying over native forests and cascading waterfalls.

We can also connect you to the boats for the chance to get up close and personal with rare wildlife such as Fiordland Crested Penguins, New Zealand Fur Seals and Dusky and Bottlenose Dolphins.

Choose a Scenic Helicopter Flight:

The Milford Sound Experience (1hr10min, 1 Landing)

The Milford Sound Gold Star Experience (1hr30mins, 2 Landings)

Milford Sound Heli-Cruise-Heli (Half Day, 2 Landings)

Heli-Cruise-Hike Experience (Full Day, 1 Landing)

North: Milford & Doubtful (2hrs15mins, 2 Landings)

North & South: Milford, Doubtful & Dusky (2hrs30mins, 3 Landings)

Scenic Milford Helicopter Route

Departing & returning to Te Anau with Fiordland Helicopters is a great way to experience this world famous location. We are closer to the scenery so you can explore more with us. View Sutherland Falls, Mitre Peak and the Murchison Mountains (where the last remaining Takahe birds were rediscovered in 1948)

Some of our wilderness landings on this route include ancient glaciers and a stunning alpine lake. Very few people have the opportunity to land here. Fiordland Helicopters has the privilege of owning National Park concessions which does not restrict to designated landing sites.


Doubtful Sound

Equally stunning and more remote, Doubtful Sound is a nature lover’s dream destination. Here you can see Rare Fiordland Crested Penguins, New Zealand Fur Seals and playful Bottlenose and Dusky Dolphins. The richness and diversity of the scenery will leave you speechless.

Away from it all, you can experience the “Sound of Silence”. It is also within this fiord that we can offer you extended kayaking trips which take you further than anyone else. Our scenic helicopter flights also offer nearby glacier landings.

You will return from a day at Doubtful Sound with memories that will last a lifetime. You can also choose one of our scenic helicopter flights that combines this destination with some of the lesser known Sounds such as Nancy, Caswell and George.

Doubtful Sound Helicopter Flights

The Doubtful Sound Experience (50 mins, 1 Landing)

Doubtful Sound Gold Star Experience (1 hr, 2 Landings)

Dusky & Doubtful Experience (1hr10mins, 1 Landing)

Dusky & Doubtful Sound Gold Star Experience (1hr30mins, 2 Landings)

North: Milford Sound & Doubtful Sound (2hrs15mins, 2 Landings)

North & South: Milford, Doubtful & Dusky Sound (2hrs30mins, 3 Landings)

South: Preservation, Dusky & Doubtful (2hrs15mins, 3 Landings)


Scenic Helicopter Trip Route

Our helicopter flights take off and land at our Te Anau base. Fly across Lake Manapouri into the heart of Fiordland. Our route includes the glorious hidden valley of Campbell’s Kingdom and at least one wilderness landing. We return via the impressive Main Divide and fly across the South Arm of Lake Te Anau.

Dusky Sound and Preservation Inlet

Dusky Sound (Tamatea) is the largest fiord but one of the least visited. Its remote location and hidden islands reveal a wealth of incredible scenery and native wildlife.

Preservation Inlet (Rakituma) is the southernmost fiord. Full of rich early European and Maori history, this is the true Fiordland – wild, remote and unspoiled.

At Fiordland Helicopters we offer scenic flights and packages that include both Dusky Sound and Preservation Inlet. Time spent in this magical destination will never be forgotten.

Dusky Sound Helicopter Flights

Doubtful & Dusky Sound Experience (1hr10min, 1 Landing)

Dusky & Doubtful Gold Star Experience (1hr20mins, 2 Landings)

North & South: Milford, Doubtful & Dusky (2hrs30min, 3 Landings)

South: Preservation, Dusky & Doubtful (2hrs15mins, 3 Landings)


Scenic Helicopter Trip Route

Trips which include Dusky Sound will take you deep into the bottom of the New Zealand’s rugged West Coast and through remote wild, World Heritage landscapes. As you fly to the mouth of remote Dusky Sound you will see many island, coves and inlets that make up this unspoiled, pristine location.

All Dusky Scenic Helicopter Flights include at least 1 wilderness landing which allow you to take in the real beauty of Fiordland. Escape the crowds of Milford Sound and explore more with Fiordland Helicopters.

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