A sense of scale? A birds eye-view? An experience like no other.
These are just some of the attributes of a scenic flight. There was a flight I took quite recently over some of the most sublime mountain-scapes New Zealand has to offer, providing with me a real appreciation for the world heritage site that is, Aoraki/ Mount Cook national park.
Based just out of Mount Cook village, you'll find the local airport where you can grab a scenic flight via ski plane or helicopter, completely up to you. I decided to do both, each providing me with a real different experience to which both were amazing. Taking off from Mount Cook airport, I began the journey into the Tasman Valley, seeing the grandeur of New Zealand's longest glacier; The Tasman Glacier. Peaks standing tall on both sides, you get a real emphasis on just how huge and mighty these ranges really are. Being on the ground, you see the face that's presented before you but up here, you get a chance to see each peak in all of it's glory.
The highlight of both trips would have to be the glacier landing. Ultimately, it was a much more invigorating experience landing on the glacier in a plane, which the thought seems quite far-fetched, yet, it was smoother than most commercial flight landings I've experienced. Stepping out onto the glacier, encompassed by ranges left and right, peaks you wish to know the name of stand high above, it's an ethereal experience.
Leaving the glacier, it's time to head back to Mount Cook village but not without some last glimpses of the Tasman Glacier Lake. These waters ebb and flow into the Tasman river, starting its journey here until it eventually reaches Lake Pukaki. The glacial waters are significantly blue in colour and stand out against the backdrop of the Tasman Valley floor.
Well that's it from me for this blog! I would like to say a big thank you to Inflite NZ who gave me an experience of a lifetime, exploring these ranges from the air. Be sure to check them out if you are ever in the Mount Cook region:
Inflite NZ/ Mount Cook helicopters and ski planes
All images for this blog are taken and post-processed by myself and are available for sale, just flick me a message.
I have just produced some new 2019 calendars called "The Great Outdoors of New Zealand", featuring some of my best imagery from NZ; some from Mount Cook too!
Be sure to check it out at: www.jackaustin.org/shop