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Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

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Santa Cruz...
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Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

We will be in Queenstown NZ beginning of November and would like to do air flight over Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers with a landing. What company would be recommended? Does the flight company pick up in Queenstown? Is it better to book on line or at the motel we stay at before we arrive?

New Zealand
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1. Re: Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

Hi :)

To get from Queenstown to Franz or Fox by helicopter you would need to do a private charter - so that's over 2 hours flying time at over $3000 per hour, plus time to land etc.

If wanting specifically to land on Franz or Fox glaciers you really are best to fly from Franz or Fox.

From Queenstown you have a whole host of other glaciers to explore - NZ has over 300 glaciers and most of them are equally stunning... just a bit shorter than the biggies of Tasman, Fox and Franz. There are some stunning glaciers in Mt Aspiring National Park - their beauty will make you forget Fox and Franz :)

And book online or book through your motel - the cost is the same. If you are in Q'town a few days I would wait and see what the weather is doing to ensure you have the best conditions.

Which company? no wrong choices.

And before you ask - a fixed wing flight (plane) is less expensive but by helicopter you can hover, swoop and get within spitting distance of the glacier face - no comparison - take the helicopter :)

…wordpress.com/2010/05/08/i-love-helicopters/

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

Wonderful thanks so much.

Upon arriving in Queenstown in November around 2. we are going to rent a car and drive to Te Anau. After gathering information most people said the self driving to Te Anau was the best.

I know it is late in the day however I have read it is only about 2.5 hours away. For picture taking I also felt the drive time would be the best time.

The next day we are doing a overnight on Doubtful sounds with Real Journey.

After doubtful sounds we will do Milford Sounds two hour Nature trip. Then spend the night in Te Anau and the next day drive back to Queenstown.

I would like your thoughts if this is feasible or not.

Thanks again:)

Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

I am planning for about 100 (US) dollars in gas do you think that would be enough for a economy car to drive to Te Anau from Queenstown? I'm not sure what you gas prices are there?

Thanks Again!!

Greymouth, New...
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4. Re: Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

The helecoptor line run flights to glacier landing not far out of queenstown. The total time of the flight and glaxier landing is about three hours. Also a shorter flight is with a snow landing.

Christchurch
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5. Re: Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

Yes $100 for fuel will be plenty to get to Te Anau and back from Queenstown.

Christchurch, New...
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6. Re: Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

What time does your DS overnight return to Manapouri? To drive to Milford Sound & back will take about 4:30hr - plus the 2 hr cruise, plus lunch somewhere, so you are looking at 7 hr minimum AFTER the ON cruise. When do you plan to fit in the glacier flight?

With only a short time why not do one fiord only as I suggested in your earlier thread?

Edited: 17 June 2014, 11:43
California
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7. Re: Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

glaciersouthernlakes.co.nz/scenic-flights/qu…

Perhaps their Glacier Explorer flight might suit?

The landing won't be on Fox or Franz, as only one company has the permission to land on either glacier and those flights depart from the corresponding villages on the West Coast.

If I recall correctly, you are the one with only 4 days in New Zealand and had the West Coast glaciers on your wish list? The problem with trying to do Fox and/or Franz on a tight schedule is that the West Coast has some of the wettest weather of the country. Helicopter flights for these glaciers are often cancelled. The helicopter operators in Queenstown have a much higher likelihood of flying on any particular day.

We did a scenic helicopter trip over Doubtful Sound that originated out of Te Anau. It was booked for the end of February, a month that should have had settled weather. But we had to push it back twice because of weather - thank goodness we had 3 nights in the area! It was beautiful, with a landing in a Shangri-La complete with its own Alpine lake and waterfall, and another landing on a snow-capped peak with vast views of Fiordland. This one: www.southernlakeshelicopters.co.nz/node/69

I'm with Zhuhai on the sounds - doing a cruise on both of them is a bit redundant, especially on a tight schedule.

Santa Cruz...
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8. Re: Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

I was choosing to see both only because I thought they were kinda in the same area. Maybe I am misunderstanding the geography.

Doubtful Sounds returns around 12:30. Is the Milford Sounds an all day itinerary as well from Te Anau?

We arrive on a Monday around 2 pm and leave on a Saturday. This allows for 4 full days.

I really appreciate all the input.

DeSchenke the flight you mentioned sounds great. You landed two separate times which seems well worth it? Did you book this on line or in Te Anau? Do you suggest a place to stay in Te Anau?

So if Queenstown is my base of flying in and out of and I rent a car to drive up to Te Anau. Keeping the Doubtful Sounds overnight on the Agenda possibly the flight DeSchenke mentioned what other sights would you suggest for I would still have one day left.

This is a temporary itinerary but am open to change ...

Monday: Arrive Queenstown, pick up car drive to Te Anau

Tuesday Doubtful Sounds overnight

Wednesday Return from Doubtful Sounds 12:30

Thursday: Southern Lakes helicopter Flight. Drive back to Queenstown in afternoon

Friday: Gondola Ride to Bobs Peak for dinner or afternoon Earnslaw cruise ??

Saturday: Home

California
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9. Re: Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

It's over 2 to 2.5 hours each way between Te Anau and Milford Sound. Add to that for stops along the way, a bit of delay waiting at Homer Tunnel (it has one way traffic controlled by a stoplight), a bit of a walk to the cruiseship from the parking area, possibly being held up behind a slow moving vehicle, and the cruise itself - all makes for a long day even from Te Anau. And the Doubtful Sound cruise originates in Manapouri, which is 20 minutes from Te Anau.

I thought the flight was well worth it. We don't splurge like that often. I especially liked that the two landing spots were so different from one another.

We stayed in Manapouri in a cottage because we wanted to have a kitchen to fix our own meals. You can click my screen name and read my reviews if you'd like to know more.

Santa Cruz...
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10. Re: Glacier flight from Queenstown NZ

Thanks so much I appreciate everyone's input.