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“Fly-cruise-fly to Milford Sound”
Review of Glenorchy Air

Glenorchy Air
Book In Advance
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$276.59*
and up
Milford Sound and Glaciers Fly Over Tour from Queenstown
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$283.59*
and up
Milford Sound Landing and Glaciers Fly Over
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$322.10*
and up
4 Hour Milford Sound Cruise and Fly Experience
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Glenorchy Air flies from Queenstown airport and everyone is guaranteed a window seat. We are a family business which is owned and operated by Janet and Robert Rutherford. We have been operating for 25 years. We fly fixed wing aircraft in which everyone has window seat for unimpeded views. These include fly-cruise-fly to Milford Sound, as well as overflight, and coach options into and out of Milford Sound. Glenorchy Air also runs regular flights to the Mount Cook region, to Mount Aspiring, to Queenstown's local glaciers, to Stewart Island, to Otago's East Coast and to Fiordlands Doubtful Sound. As we worked on the "Lord of the Rings" movies we have a unique insight into movie locations with various flightseeing options and personalised tours on offer.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

My girlfriend and I were unsure about spending the kind of money involved but having been on the trip can confidently say there are few better ways to spend the money. If you've gone all the way to Queenstown then you might as well go the extra mile!

The flight out was in a high wing aircraft with 8 seats total (from memory) so although the flight out was relatively stately, the commentary from the pilot (Hayden, I think) was most informative - he filled us in on the LOTR sites as we asked for beforehand. After we landed (smoothly!) he helped us find the boat and got our tickets for us so there was no ambiguity about where we should be and when.

The cruise was good too, again with commentary from the driver. I don't want to give anything away, but be wary of getting your camera wet... I got a bit taken by surprise, my camera is weather-sealed but many aren't!

So, after the close-ups from the boat we got our flight back with Ray (I can see from the other review that his skills are very popular!). This aircraft was much smaller (um 4 or 6 seats, I forget, there were only 4 of us in the plane though) and it was low-winged which I think meant Ray was able to bank it nice and steeply for great glacier views. He was very diligent in making sure his three passengers were happy with the maneuvers he was making and he was talking us through everything right up to when we went back in to controlled airspace.

Transfers to and from our hotel (Rydges) topped things off nicely. Also the first date we booked was cancelled but re-booking was trouble-free and the arrangements were clear at all times.

What a great afternoon we had! Highly recommended.

Thank jefc1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glenorchy, Owner at Glenorchy Air, responded to this reviewResponded February 2, 2013

Thank you for your review. Unfortunately operating aircraft is a very expensive matter. Particularly as we can only fly about 60% of the time to Milford Sound. Flying in small planes is not a common experience and we are aware of this so strive to remove any uncertainty or anxiety by personally making sure everything goes to plan. I have passed your positive comments onto Southern Discoveries the boat company. Thank you again for your review.

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598 - 602 of 726 reviews

Reviewed January 25, 2013

We booked the fly-cruise-fly tour to Milford Sound. Since we didn't have too much time in Queenstown we figured this might be the best way to see the Sound, and we weren't disappointed: The flight was amazing and we would recommend anyone to do it. We took lots of pictures, especially of the glaciers we flew over on our way back. Our pilot Mackenzie was lovely. He took us to the ferry after the flight and picked us up again after we had come back from the cruise so it was all really easy and comfortable. It was a great expierience- would definitely do it again!

Thank ChristianKathi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glenorchy, Owner at Glenorchy Air, responded to this reviewResponded February 2, 2013

Thank you for your review. You are right, flying is the best way to visit Milford Sound as your vision is not restricted by the valley walls. Not only that you get to see the high mountain lakes and waterfalls which are often frozen solid in winter. On a clear day you can see as far as Aoraki /Mount Cook. We also fly over and around the many magnificent glaciers, melt lakes, and icebergs that float in them. Most of this is hidden from view when you go by road. We always escort our passengers to and from the ferry just to make sure no one gets lost. We want to ensure the most stress free experience possible while you are in our care. Thank you again for your review.

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Reviewed January 25, 2013

My Family & I recently flew with Glenorchy Air to Milford Sound to link up with our Milford Sound cruise. The fight from Queenstown to Milford Sound was the highlight of our recent New Zealand holiday. Robert was very professional and accommodating & made our flight a very special one. The scenery was spectacular and it was fantastic to be on our way home before the bus crowds arrived. All in all an amazing experience.
Thanks,
Glenorchy Air.

Thank bavalentine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glenorchy, Owner at Glenorchy Air, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2013

Thank you for your review,and for taking the time to upload your photos. We are glad your experience was the highlight of your trip to New Zealand. As the pilot on this flight it is always great to get reviews such as yours. Thanks again.

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Reviewed January 22, 2013

Emily, daughter of Robert/Owner-Pilot Glenorchy Air, explained gave all info on the flights and booked us in by offering a much appreciated discount. It was a Fly-Cruise-Fly trip. My wife and I with our grandson Josh (5yrs old) were picked up and later dropped off at Hotel by Emily on a beautiful summer day. Robert took us on the breathtaking scenic flight over the still snow capped mountains of the Southern Alps. Views were absolutely spectacular and awe-inspiring as he flew us over glaciers, mountain peaks, avalanche site and river valleys. Even my wife who is usually averse to heights and deep depths, thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip and still cannot get over her flight experience on Glenorchy Air. Robert gave us very informative commentary and his flying experience made us feel absolutely safe and comfortable. My grandson Josh was thrilled with this flight that he wrote a whole page on his diary (he is good at wiriting journals) to take to school when it re-opens.

Everything advertised in their Brochures are for real. On our return trip we flew over Mount Aspiring which rises 2 miles high. Glenorchy Air flights were highly competetive compared to other operators.

Flight times ensure that we arrive in time for the Breakfast/Lunch cruise. We were in for the cruise with free kiwi-breakfast. (But if a bus load of Asians join you for the Cruise, then you could face a bit of jostling, pushing, huffing and puffing - even a few will try jumping the queue for breakfast, although there was heaps for all). Just relax and go a little later and enjoy your breakfast. The jostling could however, continue on the deck as well the front, with everyone trying to get a place for views/photos and videoing with least respect for others.

Thank you Emily and Robert. We have now experienced the 7th out of 10 Must See Around the World.

1  Thank TravellerPorirua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glenorchy, Owner at Glenorchy Air, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2013

Thank you for your review. Reviews such as this one could result in our resting on our laurels, however I promise we won't. As we are a family business who have been flying to Milford Sound for the last 20 years we do know our way around the area. As you say our brochure is for real, in this area most people are overwhelmed by the beauty of our landscape. We can't exaggerate the experience you will have, as the English language runs out of adjectives to adequately describe what you will see. You are correct, by flying in for the cruises other than the middle of the day ones, you avoid the crowds. Thanks again for your review.

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Reviewed January 20, 2013

Having walked the Milford track (stunning) , swum in the fjiord (bracing), kyaked in the Sound (amazing and quiet) , cruised out to the Tasman Sea, there was only one thing for it - fly over the lot.
Robert was most accomodating in arranging to fly us back to Queenstown at short notice (thanks Emma at the Milford Sound Lodge for arranging this). Robert's calm and careful manner is just right for this kind of flying, small aircraft in big country. Once we were out of bumpy Milford he was careful to ensure a smooth ride and we were impressed that he was very vigilant to the changing weather patterns. The views are an unbelievable experience - our 14 year old daughter had a grin from ear to ear.. We will be back in the autumn to see more. Thanks so much.

Thank Helen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glenorchy, Owner at Glenorchy Air, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2013

I remember you folk well as I was the pilot on the day. You guys certainly know how to pack out your day, I was impressed. I am delighted my performance flying you out was equally impressive. This flight to and from Milford Sound is one of the worlds greatest scenic flights. I am glad you think it is worth five stars. Looking forward to flying you again when you return to Queenstown. Thanks and regards.

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