Queenstown Scenic Flight write up, by the team at Just Down The Road.

Queenstown Scenic Flight write up, by the team at Just Down The Road.

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

We are really proud to share this awesome article, written by Sierra, from Just Down The Road, about our Queenstown Scenic Flight.

The View From Above with Air Milford

Since moving down to the heart of the South Island, there is nothing  I have enjoyed more than taking in all the beauty that encompasses this region. To me, there is no finer sight than seeing the mountains, lakes, and rivers that make this part of the world so beautiful. Being from Canada, I have loved being able to call Queenstown my home for the past several months. With so many hidden alpine lakes, mountain vistas, and valleys that surround me, I knew that I had to see more of this area by air. 

Air Milford is a family owned and operated scenic flight company based in the heart of Queenstown. For over the past 30 years, the son and father duo have been sharing their love of flying with those visiting the area. From peak to peak, a scenic flight is an absolute dream way to see Queenstown and its famous surroundings regions. Air Milford offers not only flights around Queenstown but passengers can also experience the vast and dramatic alpine scenery of the Southern Alps all the way to Fiordland National Park. This is an absolutely incredible way to reach this isolated yet worldly renowned area of extraordinary beauty.

I really wanted to experience the beauty of my own backyard, so as a new local I was ready to fasten my seat belt and experience the Locals Flight. At Air Milford I was welcomed by the friendly staff as soon as I walked through the doors. You can tell this local spot, has been a true family run business since the beginning. Right off the bat, I was welcomed by Ants, who also happened to be my pilot for the day. He is a second generation pilot of Air Milford, and it was his father, Hank that had started offering scenic flights back in the 80s. As we got all prepped for take off, Ants toured us through the facility and gave us a bit of background info on what Air Milford has become over the years.

Before gearing up for take off, we were shown around the facility and got to spend some time in the hanger and view all the different plane models they have. Today we were taking flight in their largest plane, which is a 9 seater and one of their most popular aircrafts for scenic flights. However, as I was waiting for the next flight I was able to view the tiny bright yellow Cessna across the tarmac that was prepping to take off. It was so neat to see all the different aircraft models they had and for what special occasions they typically use them for.

As we raced down the Queenstown Airport short runway and launched into the sky, within seconds we were flying parallel to the iconic Remarkables Mountain Range. Minutes after we were quickly traversing through the Wakatipu Basin, and my level of excitement was quickly increasing as we made our way over to the historic town of Arrowtown- which just so happens to be where I live. Within moments, I had pin pointed out my tiny house with that shinny green roof. A part of me wished my flat mates were outside so I could scramble to grab a photo of them as I jetted above.

We turn above Coronet Peak, which I learned was the first founded ski field in New Zealand, and also a place where I spend many of my days hitting the slopes. Reaching over the back part, we glide above Skippers Canyon, known to be one of the most dangerous roads in this country. From here we then head towards the heart of Queenstown and overhead the famous Wakatipu Lake. Ants tilted the plane several times, so all passengers could get epic views of the both the lake and nearby mountain vistas.

We did a series of tight turns and dips through the layers of cloud. The mountains here are covered in snowy peaks and plunge deep into the lake, creating some of the countries most breathtaking landscapes.  As we swirl around and traverse further south towards Glenorchy we took in the many breathtaking sights of the Southern Alps. On our return, Ants changed up the flight path and decided to show the team his favorite route back. From the southern end of Lake Wakatipu, we hugged sides of the mountains, passed tree covered rock faces, and jetted through the basins massive rock peaks. It was so surreal gliding by the raw and untouched landscapes of the massive mountains around us. My highlight was jetting beside the well renowned Ben Lomond Peak, and overlooking the famous heart shape of Moke Lake. We made our way home from there.

Here you can see the famous TSS Earnslaw from high above. Air Milford offers a scenic flight to Walter Peak, where passengers can then take the iconic Earnslaw back into Queenstown.

This was a once in a lifetime experience and would highly recommend this to anyone venturing South. I was captivated from lift off to the last minute and felt like I had seen my new home from a whole new perspective. If this is something you would like to do (which goes without saying), than please click through here to book with Air Milford. Thank you Ants and everyone involved!


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