Day 196 on the Road
Scenic Flight in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
Today we are joining Inflight Experiences for their Mt Cook 360 flight around Aoraki Mt Cook! If you like this video and want some more 365 Days: 365 Activities for your NZ bucket list, then check out our epic YouTube Channel!
Today we’re goin gto be flying over the highlights of the Southern Alps, all in a 30 minute flight.
Today we are… Oh wait, Laura’s getting distracted.
Alright, now that she gets that out of her system, today we are arriving at Mt cook airport for the third time in a row. There is no way we’re getting enough of those stunning views and this time we’re about to do a 360 degree flight around beautiful Mt Cook the tallest mountain of new Zealand.
We’re joining Inflight Experiences to see some of the highlights of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. So to do this we’re getting into a very very very small plane where we can literally feel every single movement inside it, it’s such a novelty to us, and we are joining our pilot Isaac who is going to be taking us around the park.
The Mount Cook National Park is the area surrounding New Zealand’s highest mountain, which is Aoraki Mt Cook, it reaches up to 3,724m high or in feet that’s 12,349 and it pierces into the sky, it’s super prominent and the area around it holds some of the most majestic scenery in New Zealand.
The flight starts above the beautiful braided rivers which are fed by the Tasman Lake. Those braided rivers create some really intricate patterns on the floor and you can only really understand the entire scale of it by actually seeing them from above. Then we are reaching the beautiful Tasman Lake which is fed by the Tasman Glacier. The Tasman Lake is one of the most iconic lakes in New Zealand. It’s milky blue colour makes it super easily recognisable among every other lake in the country and this colour comes from rock flour which is basically rock that have been grinded into a very very thin paste by the Tasman Glacier it then deposits in the lake and creates this amazing colour.
And we are slowly making our way even closer to the Southern Alps. We start finally seeing those snowy peaks and start approaching the 23km long glacier which is the massive giant. The Views of the all the glaciers of the Southern Alps as well as all the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps are unparalleled during this flight. There is no other way to get a feel of the impressive size of this gigantic mountain range.
As we reach the top of the Tasman Glacier we can actually see the point where we landed on the glacier yesterday in the ski plane so make sure to check out that video as well. But the Tasman Glacier isn’t the only glacier here in the national park, in fact, eight out of the 12 largest glaciers in New Zealand are right here in Aoraki Mt Cook.
From the top of the Tasman Glacier we then start to circle around the highest peak which is Aoraki Mt Cook and then we cross the section of the Southern Alps called The Divide named because it actually is the divide between the east coast of New Zealand and the west coast. And once we cross the divide we can see a very distinct change in the weather which is actually really funny because on the West Coast it is infamous for having bad weather we can see that right now with all the clouds around us.
One of the really cool features that I can’t wait to during this flight is the Fox and Franz Josef Glacier. Believe it or not, we were there three months ago already it’s incredible how time flies when you do 365 activities in only 365 days. We keep ourselves super busy and we get to see those two glaciers in a whole different angle. We only flew very far away from the Franz Josef Glacier when doing our skydive but we haven’t seen them from above so it’s really cool to see it from the top of the neve.
Our pilot Isaac is in love with the Southern Alps. He talks with so much passion about all the geological features of the area. It’s incredible the wealth of knowledge he’s sharing with us in such a short flight.
We are now looping back and making our way back toward the Mt Cook Airport via Hooker Valley. This is a great way to get a different perspective of the whole area as well but this by no means mean that we’re not going to be seeing the Tasman Lake because it’s such a prominent feature there is no way around it we’ll see this beautiful turquoise lake once more.
I just can’t get enough of the beautiful Tasman Lake. We can see the massive ice bergs from above and we can even spot a tiny boat which next to the ice berg looks really small making the whole thing come into perspective and wowing us once more.
Needless to say that Laura’s glued to her camera for the entire flight even when we are approaching landing she’s still taking some pictures of the area because she just can’t get enough of those stunning views.
The Mt Cook 360 flight is definitely one of the more affordable flights here in Aoraki Mt Cook and one of the quickest ways to see all the major highlights of the national park.
Landing back in Mt Cook Airport is a bittersweet moment for us. Although we had such an epic time flying around the Southern Alps it’s a bit of a sad moment because this is our final activity here in the national park.
Tomorrow, we are heading to the Lake Tekapo area for it’s picturesque views and its world famous springs. So join us then.
Oh my God that amazing.
There’s so many layers of mountains and snow and glaciers and oh my Gaaahhd. It’s so much. It’s so much to see. It’s incredible.