Anyone got any recommendations? We were hoping do do a heli tour in South Island perhaps from Christchurch or Queenstown - perhaps see some of the mountain ranges or glaciers?
Anyone recommend one or reputable tour companies? We know they are costly and could cost approx £150-200 for an hour trip!
I can't recommend companies, as either the weather or the money was always a problem for me and so this is one of the things I'll yet have to come back to New Zealand for. But as for locations - there's really only one choice - around Mt. Cook and the glaciers.
There's four take of point for helicopter tours doing that region:
Glentanner Park (near Mt. Cook village).
Franz Josef Glacier.
I'd say: use the first one of these you pass where the weather's good enough to do the trip and get decent views.
I know there's also helicopter flights from Milford Sound back to Queenstown (these are heavily advertised in the daytrip buses there), and I think there's also some around the Marlborough Sounds, but having seen the scenery, I really can't imagine these tours being even remotely as good (other than perhaps in the dead of winter) as those of Mt. Cook and the Southern Alps.
I dealt with this company during the week to book a helicopter ride over the Franz Josef Glaciar and found them really helpful
20 mins $175pp - Franz Josef glaciar plus landing
30 mins $ 225 - Franz and Fox Glaciers
40 mins (cant remb. price) - Franz, Fox and Mount Cook.
Hope that helps,
We did the heli-hike at Fox Glacier and loved it. Walking on the glacier was a great experience and the helicopter views were fantastic.
There's only one heli-hike company at Fox (although there are several that do the normal scenic flights) - it's Fox Glacier Guides.
Best to book the morning flight (9 AM) as I understand afternoon flights may sometimes be cancelled due to bad weather, although they will refund if that happens.