No matter the weather, rain or shine, don’t skip out on a scenic flight above Milford Sound in a helicopter! The Milford Sound in New Zealand will leave you speechless. The famous author of The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling, refers it as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World.
Nothing puts things into perspective like hovering between mountains so high that no matter how you peer your head up, you can’t see the tops, from inside a helicopter!
Milford Sound is the top tourist attraction in New Zealand — each year, hundreds of thousands of people make the trip to Fjordland National Park to cruise through this iconic landscape, but I was tremendously lucky to be hosted by Over The Top in their 2-hour Milford and Fiordland Highlights scenic helicopter flight.
And so the scenic flight begins…
As we all pile into the chopper with our bags tucked away, I pull out my camera, and shove my face against the window, totally shaking with anticipation. Their chopper is extremely nice with huge windows on most sides of the helicopter. It was like I was in a spherical glass ball with propellors and I could see almost everything even though I was sitting in the back for the first part of the trip.
Gazing at the mountains and ridges below as we took off, I felt like we somehow left New Zealand behind and traveled to Middle Earth. I could imagine the Lord of the Rings films playing in my head… That says a lot about how crazy I am about LOTR. I hope it doesn’t mean I’m too crazy!
My jaw dropped down at the view of the surrounding mountains as we headed over the glaciers of the Southern Alps.
Then we landed on an alpine glacier. We got off for a brief walk around. It was quite cool to experience two totally different winter within the same hour we took off. From a dry landscape to snowy mountains stretching as far as the eye could see. It sounds stupid, but I just didn’t realize how many mountains there were in that part of the country! It’s not until you’re eye-level with them that they just seem to go forever.
It was extraordinary! The blanket of snow on the top of glaciers looks so smooth and untouched. It looked like it had build up a deep layer of snow over the years. It’s like an avalanche could occur any time.
After few photo ops on the top of the glaciers, we took off to cross the Fiordland and see the famous scenery of the beautiful Matukituki River and Mitre Peak in the Milford Sound.
The landscape of Fiordland carved by the glaciers dominated the whole scenery until we crossed the highest peaks in the Southern Alps and cross into Fiordland where the landscape became even more wild and remote than ever.
We landed once again in a remote area somewhere in the Fiordland, but it was too foggy, so the pilot cut that stop a little shorter than planned. We took off once again.
Buzzing into the gaping maw of Milford Sound was unforgettable. We flew past sheer tree-lined cliffs and numerous waterfalls plunging straight into the navy blue waters of the fiord.
Heading further west, our pilot hovered above and dropped below the thin layer of cloud, so it was a pretty smooth flight. I could see how confident the pilot was when he was flying the chopper. Everybody in the chopper took hundreds of photographs, doing our best to accurately record the green alpine lakes, winding rivers, steep mountainsides and jagged peaks as we flew to Milford Sound.
We flew over a bunch of lakes and forested valleys before reaching the famous Matukituki River of Milford Sound. I was in awe of the colors in the scenery. It felt like time actually froze at the moment. Everything was in slow motion as I speed-photographed the river along.
Then we were brought to the iconic Mitre Peak with surrounding dramatic sheer rock faces, rainforest and waterfalls in the Milford Sound.
And before we even know it we’re over the aqua-blue Lake Wakatipu and landing by the remote west coast beach for another photo op.
It felt like my eyes were deceiving me when I was viewing the beautiful sight of the beach. It was too surreal and too beautiful for my eyes to actually believe.
Flying back brought us along different mountain ranges, glacial river valleys and alpine lakes — yes, you will see lakes on top of the glaciers and mountains. Some of them frozen, some not. You wouldn’t be able to believe it when you’re up there.
While flying back and seeing the landscape and all that, my mind started channeling “The Lighting of the Beacons” scene from the Lord of the Ring movie. I could recognize many parts of the scenery in the film and I immediately understood why they chose this area for the scene. Nothing could beat this sight.
Even though everything felt like slow-mo to me, but it was too hard for me to accept the end of this entire. If you’re anything like me, there is nothing more beautiful than getting to see those ice fields, blue crevasses, terminal lakes and spiky mountains from the skies.
All sights blew me away. One of the best helicopter rides! Thanks for hosting me and can I take a second flight with you someday, Over The Top – The Helicopter Company? ????
Over The Top – The Helicopter Company
- Address: Blue Hangar, Tex Smith Lane, Queenstown Airport, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.flynz.co.nz/index.html
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Overthetophelicopters