TOP HELICOPTER Experience | Queenstown, Kauai, Sydney, London, New York
The perspective of everything viewed from the sky is astonishing. Whether it’s the vast view of a stunning landscape, a breathtaking city skyline or the never-ending horizon of the sea, there is always a powerful sensation of wonder and surprise after a helicopter flight. The following pages will take you up high to discover our beautiful world with a bird’s eyes view.
BREATHTAKING NATURAL BEAUTY
words // Tania Stoyanof
photography courtesy // Miles Holden
Stunning scenery made up of glaciers, ice shelves, waterfalls, hidden valleys and dreamlike, turquoise-colored alpine lakes. As we’re cruising over Milford Sound, one of New Zealand’s most remarkable natural attractions, the views from our private helicopter just get better and better.
Milford Sound is renowned for its surrealistic landscapes, where native rainforest and waterfalls blend with the majestic fjords and wildlife, represented by seal colonies and dolphins. While I am being amazed by the landscapes at every turn, my knowledgeable guide Paul walks me through the highlights. You can tell that he enjoys showing people the beauty of his favorite zone.
Heli Tours Queenstown is owned and operated by Paul and Katherine, locals passionate about showing visitors the best of New Zealand’s adventure capital. With private access to several locations due to an exclusive multiple-park entry concession provided by the Department of Conservation in New Zealand, you will have exclusive access to secluded spots carefully chosen for every occasion.
The Heli tours range from exploring the rough beauty of the West Coast, including snow and glacier landings and private, remote beaches, to fishing, and having your own exclusive Mountain Chef experience; featuring seasonal ingredients, matched with award-winning, local wine. If you wish, combined with a luxury overnight cruise.
It’s easy to understand why a scenic Heli adventure in New Zealand is on the bucket list of many. Milford Sound allows you to connect with nature and disconnect from everything else for a while. It’s an amazing feeling.
words // Nathan Dukes
photography // Braden Jarvis | unsplash.com
Enormous stretches of Kauai remain unexplored. The impenetrable Na Pali coast and the vast interior beckon those in search of authentic adventure.
A helicopter is not such an absurd way to explore a small island. A glance at a map of Hawaii’s garden island reveals just one main road, extending from Ke’e Beach in the north to Waimea in the south following the eastern shore. Beyond that? Untouched wilderness. Miles of open plains, staggering canyons, waterfalls and rainforests. You’d barely penetrate more than a few miles without an Indy fedora and a sturdy 4WD.
From the air, the island is a green giant, blanketed by a dense forest. Barely 5% of the island is developed. Our first highlight is Manawaiopuna Falls, and we are mesmerized watching water tumble into the abyss. Further upstream is Kāhili Falls, a series of picture-perfect drops cut through the wilderness.
Deeper we venture into the Waimea Canyon, the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific.’ The red Martian landscape drops thousands of feet below us. Barely a moment later we’re heading for the famed Na Pali coast.
The visual spectacle is indescribable. A feast of color, from green to ochre, white and turquoise fills our windows like a pastel painting. Thousands of paper-thin ridgelines tumble into the ocean, each valley weathered by millennia of rain and wind. Our pilot flies low over the ridges, and our stomachs drop at the sight of the immense descent on the other side. What a rush. One of America’s final frontiers.
words & photography // Nathan Dukes
Sydney’s status as a global city is based around the harbor, and from the air, it’s a treasure to behold. It’s a beautiful turquoise frame for the best things Sydney offers to travelers: beaches, parklands, the Harbour Bridge, and the Sydney Opera House.
Hovering high above there’s endless sandy coves, green fingers of land and luxury homes. Roads stretch like arteries in every direction. The bridge and the opera house become cameos in the larger beautiful whole.
After a loop around the city, we head east. Ships bob like toys in the bathtub, ready to be yanked from the water or capsized like child’splay. The scale of the world is all wrong. It’s easy to feel small in a big city, but at 1500 feet I am a giant. I feel empowered.
Yachts idle from the jetties of multi-million-dollar homes, each mansion leaning against the water as if jostling for the best views. Colorful umbrellas dot the scorched yellow sand of the beautiful harbor beaches. Through Sydney Heads, we are treated to the golden sandstone cliffs of Dover Heights. The infamous “Gap” the only break in a 6-mile stretch of rock, slowly being eroded by the pounding Pacific Ocean.
Bondi Beach appears into view: the symbol of summer. Thousands line her shore like lemmings, while thousands more cool off in the turquoise water.
You need not fly over the city in a helicopter to experience the best of Sydney, but you are certainly given a new and unique perspective on what Sydney has to offer.
words // Karina Brante
photography courtesy // The London Helicopter
London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with breathtaking architecture and beauty around every corner. The City is filled with charm, culture, and history making it difficult not to fall in love with. The moment you think you have seen it all, it surprises you again.
The London Helicopter tour is one of the most thrilling experiences this city can offer. Our unforgettable adventure starts at the Battersea Heliport located on the south bank of the River Thames and as our helicopter lifts from the ground we are instantly presented with magnificent views over Battersea Power Station before our flight continues on past to the Royal Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and down to Westminster Abbey.
This is an opportunity to see London from a completely different perspective discovering the city’s most beautiful sights as we fly over rooftops exploring the metropolitan area taking in the bird’s eye view of this historic city.
Feeling liberated and tall above it all – feeling powerful and grand with exhilarating moments, we take sharp turns and speed towards the East.
Like Agent 007 on a mission, our private pilot flies us so close to most of the picturesque parts of town – you almost feel like you could touch them – passing architectural masterpieces such as St. Paul’s Cathedral with its iconic dome, our personal favorite landmark of the London skyline – a symbol of resilience and strength of the city and nation.
And as we hold our breaths we see London’s most instantly recognizable tower – The Gherkin with its fascinating diamond-shaped facade followed by views of Tower Bridge and most memorably the Shard – the tallest building in Europe, a 95-story skyscraper designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. As our adventure draws to an end, we fly towards the horizon catching last lingering views of a previously unseen London that reminds us of just how beautiful and grand this old city is.
NEW YORK HELICOPTER
AN ULTIMATE GATEWAY
words // Armand Alvarez
photography courtesy // Wings Air Helicopter Charter
You can imagine how impressive is to fly in a helicopter over Manhattan’s scenery, observing the tall buildings from the sky as you could almost touch them with your fingertips. You are seating comfortable enjoying great views while indulging yourself with a glass of champagne. From above New York looks and feels different. Even if you see people and traffic running, and city lights are shining bright, your perception is that you have raised to a different dimension. The Statue of Liberty says, ‘Hi’ and a melody of Frank Sinatra’s emblematic song is spinning in your head, New York, New York…
Our magical journey continues by overflying the beautiful Hudson Valley, and we finally arrive at our chosen destination, the Glenmere Mansion in Chester, New York in Lower Hudson Valley. A different landscape opens up to us just after 25 minutes away of a helicopter ride.
The splendid mansion was built in 1911 in the style of Tuscan villas, as the country retreat of industrialist Robert Goelet, on a picturesque hilltop overlooking Glenmere Lake.
Upon arrival you are greeted by a butler that accompanies you to your table, followed by a three-course lunch, served with a split of a refine Duval-Leroy Champagne. This ultimate experience is a result of a partnership between Glenmere and Wings Air, a private charter helicopter company that covers the entire Northeast.
After a delicious meal, you can relax and enjoy surrounded by peaceful and beautiful nature. When you are ready, your private pilot is waiting for you to take you back to the lively and vibrant island of Manhattan.