New Product: Milford Sound & Big 5 Glaciers

New Product: Milford Sound & Big 5 Glaciers

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Air Milford, top rated Scenic Flight provider based at Queenstown Airport, is excited to release a new product for the summer season that is set to tackle many pressing issues in the tourist flight sector. The ‘Milford Sound and Big 5 Glaciers’ is a 60-minute scenic flight combining the traditional destination of Milford Sound, with an extended look at some of the South Island’s most spectacular glaciers.

The new extended trip departs Queenstown airport on demand, at 8am, with the flight path tracking north up the Shotover Canyon, passing Lochnagar to Mt Aspiring (10,000ft/3033m). New Zealand has 7 glaciers that span greater than 10 hectares, and the only one in the Southern Lakes resides on the northern side of Mt Aspiring, called the Volta Glacier, assured to be a highlight. The next sector is where passengers get their money’s worth, turning towards Milford Sound and flying down ‘glacier alley’ home to the Bonar, Dart, Snowball, Whitbourn, Jura and Olivine Glaciers. Further west toward Milford Sound, the flight links up with the standard Milford flight path over Mt Tutoko and the Donne Glacier, before capturing the Fiord of Milford and a return flight back to Queenstown. The Big 5 Glacier flight is 46% longer than the tradition Milford flightpath, with a summer launch special Air Milford is offering 15% off the cost at $399/adult and $255/child.

Multiple factors have influenced the new opportunity, the foremost being flight congestion from a significant increase in air operators capitalising on the tourist boom. Air Milford Chief Pilot, Antony Sproull, says “we’ve witnessed a shift for tourists to book the earliest flight departure in the day, linking to the first cruise departure in Milford. The reasons are simple: people are educated to the ‘rush hour’ in Milford; around midday when the road traffic arrives”. We see this new option proactively tackling the issue says Sproull.

Operating a fleet of four larger, quieter and faster Cessna ‘Caravans’ has been a game changer for Air Milford, explains Sproull. These aircraft allow Air Milford to fly deeper into the National Park, at higher altitudes, with a smaller environmental imprint. The Federated Mountain Club (FMC) have brought recent media attention to the National Parks. With this new option, flights will operate between 8-10,000 ft (3000m) which will limit the interaction with other park users, such as the FMC. “This is where the Caravan really shines, the turbo-prop engine mated to a slow propeller speed is whisper quiet. We fly fast at around 300kph so the time spent in one location is minimal” states Sproull.

By the year 2100 the Franz Josef glacier is forecast to shrink by 38%, so now is the time that people should take the opportunity, in case we lose these precious vistas for good. To book this exciting new option, click  here. The first scheduled departure commenced in early October 2018, with the final trip of the season concluding on 30th April 2019. 

• Air Milford is rated #1 Scenic Flight Activity in Queenstown and has been awarded the Certificate of Excellence and Hall of Fame award 2018

• Qualmark Gold Recipient 2018

• Travel & Hospitality Award Winner 2018


Big 5 Glaciers Flight – Orange line

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