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“Awesome trip into wild territory!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Alps Air - Scenic Flights

Southern Alps Air - Scenic Flights
12 Lloyd Dunn Ave | Wanaka Airport SH6, Wanaka, New Zealand
+64 3-443 4385
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Ranked #10 of 41 Tours & Activities in Wanaka
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Owner description: Try the Milford Sound Glacier Flight & Cruise from Wanaka with Southern Alps Air. WHY? because of where Wanaka is located geographically in relation to Milford Sound you will FLY FURTHER - the circular flight path is 1hr 30mins. SEE MORE glaciers, waterfalls, the Olivine Ice Plateau & Mt Aspiring up close + more. SAVE TIME The drive from Wanaka to Milford Sound is 10hrs return. Enjoy the Milford flight & 2hr Mitre Peak Boat Cruise and you need only allow 4 hours return. Option of Heli Glacier Landing while at Milford Sound. ALSO Mt Cook & Mt Aspiring options or the amazing FLY-WALK-JETBOAT Experiences of Siberia Experience or Blue Pools Nature Experience. Our experienced team provide a friendly and professional service. During your flight, enjoy a personalized commentary and uninterrupted views from your window seat. Qualmark and Enviro endorsed locally owned and operated family business. Department of Conservation approved operator with an excellent safety record.
Amberley, New Zealand
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Awesome trip into wild territory!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

We had the opportunity to fly with these guys into Big Bay. Wow what an experience. Great scenery. Friendly, informative and helpful staff.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthernAlpsAir, Owner at Southern Alps Air - Scenic Flights, responded to this review, November 25, 2012
Thank you for your great review - we are so lucky to live in an area like this and have access to remote places like Big Bay especially when time is limited. Landing on a west coast beach on a beautiful summers day in the middle of nowhere is a memorable experience, it's a special place.
I have responded to the last 3 reviews under another staff members name in error - I didn't realise until they were published - but it was actually me - Anne - Co-owner/Operator of Southern Alps Air.
I hope the correct name appears this time!
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Cameron Park, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Give your money to charity and buy a video tour DVD”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

We were very excited to take the scenic air flight, but unfortunately it did not meet expectations. We only had six days on the South Island of New Zealand so we thought that this would be a really good use of our time and money; to be able to see more. Our hobby is photography and we took the flight with that in mind. But it was really disappointing, the windows were deeply scratched and dirty so that the photos did not do the magnificent scenery justice. We gave up and put camera away. Also the plane was old and dirty and you had to get your ear earphones, which were torn, from under the seat on the floor! They didn't fit. We couldn't adjust them because they were old and they wouldn't adjust enough. The pilot was more interested in making sure his copilot, a trainee, was informed than his paying customer. When the copilot saw we were having trouble with the earphones, he wanted to trade so that we could get the full experience of the fight. We thought that was very nice and professional of him. Unfortunately the pilot /the owner said no and made them put it back on his head. Obviously completely unconcerned that we were not getting the fulll experience of which they were charging top dollar. We felt as if this was a tour for the copilot, not us, and done at our expense.

The scenery is magnificent but it isn't anything that you wouldn't see over Chile or Canada or Alaska or Montana so forth. We were so disappointed. Everyone made it sound as if the tour was a combination of the Grand Canyon, The Great Barrier and Iguazu Falls - it was not. Clearly it was a matter of over promises and undelivered expectations.

If you want the flight experience we would recommend using a company with functional, clean, untorn headphones and was actually interested in you having a good experience, such as being able to photograph through unscratched windows and hearing the commentary delivered as if it may have been meant for our benefit.

Because of the rain we waited three days to take this tour, it definitely was not worth the wait and it was not worth the money. We would not recommend this tour. Save your money!!!!!

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthernAlpsAir, Owner at Southern Alps Air - Scenic Flights, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
To RedE2Trav

We are very disappointed and upset that your scenic flight experience with our company did not meet expectations. We are a husband and wife team who have been in the tourism and aviation industry for over 20 years and are passionate about what we do and the spectacular region we are fortunate enough to operate within – prior to this we have not had any disappointed customer feed-back regarding our Milford Sound scenic flights and we are devastated that you were disappointed with the experience. Through our lengthy email correspondence prior to you making the reservation I did convey to you that the scenic flight to Milford Sound from Wanaka is fantastic and I apologise if I over promised – the comments I made to you were quotes from other people who have taken this flight with us. For the majority of people that fly with us the landscape the Milford Sound Scenic flight encompasses is some of the best they have ever seen. Milford Sound was described by the famous poet Rudyard Kipling as the 8th Wonder of the World. We do appreciate feed-back and take on board your comments – all of our aircraft are maintained to strict CAA regulations and are inspected regarding safety and presentation prior to every flight. The perspex windows are replaced on a regular basis at much cost to try to ensure the best viewing and photographic opportunities – the aircraft you were in had the windows replaced very recently. In this aircraft the headsets are stowed under the seat due to minimal space, headsets are sanitised before each flight and regular checks are done to ensure functionality – The headsets have all now been re- checked & replaced if required. There was a trainee pilot on the flight this day with you and we apologise for any inconvenience this caused you with commentary not being entirely focused upon your needs as a valued client – it is very important for safety that the co-pilot has a fully functional headset for communication and navigational purposes which is why the pilot in command did not allow the swap to go ahead - safety is always first and foremost. Pilot training in this form is not a regular occurrence for our company as pilots tend to stay with us for many years.
We would have really appreciated the opportunity to have discussed this with you in August when you took the flight so that these issues could have been immediately addressed and in doing so had the opportunity to reach a solution you would be happy with - We have read other reviews from your recent holiday and are disappointed for you that you had other experiences that did not reach expectation.
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Wanaka, New Zealand
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Flight over middle Earth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

I was fortunate to do the Southern Air Fly – Cruise-Fly flight to Milford Sound on a glorious clear day. The flight over the southern alps was spectacular and Kylie, our pilot, shared a wealth of knowledge about the area. The sheer cliffs, glaciers and lakes were an incredible sight, but even they were over shadowed by the flight up Milford Sound itself.
The cruise along the sound was between sheer cliffs, waterfalls and wild life – mainly penguins and fur seals – the seals especially were not bothered by our close proximity. There are not enough superlatives to describe this truly magnificent adventure, seeing parts of NZ that you would never get to see any other way.
Sure beats a 10 hour bus trip. Tom

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthernAlpsAir, Owner at Southern Alps Air - Scenic Flights, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
Thank you for your comments, it was perfect weather for you -WI hope you have the opportunity to come again some time.
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Bathurst, Australia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“The flight of a lifetime!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to Paul & Anne of Southern Alps Air and our pilot 'Thomo' who we and our friends did a scenic flight with from Wanaka over the alps to Milford Sound for a 2 hour cruise and then back again on 23 October. This trip was amazing and all four of us agreed that it was the highlight of our two weeks in New Zealand!!! Their confirmation phone call, their welcome when we arrived at the airport and their overall professionalism was wonderful explaining where we were going, how long it would take and what we would see. They also included the most beautiful 2 hours cruise on 'Milford Sound' where we saw penguins, dolphins, seals and from the boat we got to see the most stunning waterfalls and mountains you could wish for with fantastic commentary. Our pilot 'Thomo' was very experienced and his commentary as we flew to Milford Sound and back was really interesting in amongst our 'wows' and 'oohs' as we flew over some of the most breathtaking scenery we have experienced. We were a bit nervous in a little plane with only 6 passengers and our pilot but 'Thomo' made us feel very comfortable and prepared for us any little bumps that we experienced along the way. If you get the chance to do this trip - DO IT!! In four hours we experienced everything that would have taken us 9 hours of driving to get to Milford Sound plus the two hour cruise. (an extremely long 12 hour plus day with breaks). Thank you southern alps air - one of the best tourist attractions in the South Island!!

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthernAlpsAir, Owner at Southern Alps Air - Scenic Flights, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
Hi Kris

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your flight. It was a perfect weather day for you and we are always excited to be able to share this spectacular region with visitors. You all seemed to be having a great time enjoying each others company and your time in Wanaka. If you are back here again be sure to look us up. By the way, the reading glasses that one of your party lost (I'm sure it was one of your men) have finally made there way back to us in Wanaka - they were left on the bus at Milford Sound. If you email me an address I will send them over.
Kind regards
Anne & Paul
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Wanaka, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Fly - Cruise - Fly MILFORD SOUND”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

AMAZING! Took off from Wanaka and headed to Milford in a tiny wee fixed wing plan... Pilot had so much knowledge, could name all the peaks and lakes and glaciers on the way there and back. I was the lucky one to sit up front with the pilot... The flight was the most breathtaking part of the trip for me, being able to see all the way down the Southern Alps including Mt Cook! Money well spent with this trip!

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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