This magnificent helicopter fly fishing trip takes us across the main divide of New Zealand’s Southern Alps from Wanaka and deep into South Westland. Being a charter helicopter trip where we keep the helicopter with us for the day allows us to fish several very remote, pristine rivers that hold some large brown trout on the same day.
I will pick you up from your accommodation in Queenstown (or Wanaka) at a pre-arranged time and we will drive to meet the helicopter operator. From Queenstown this is approximately 1hr drive or 15 minutes from Wanaka. After a safety briefing we will board the Hughes 500 helicopter and fly towards our first fishing destination of the day. The helicopter will set us down where we wish to start fishing and then shut down and wait for us. Due to the terrain and the nature of the dense bush in these areas we may then use the heli to hop us up to the next likely spot on the same river. After we have done our dash on this river we will head off to the next river to start the process all over again.
This trip generally allows us to fish 3 different rivers on one day and hit the best spots on each river. If you still haven’t had your fill and we are getting close to hitting the 2hr helicopter time mark you can keep going but you will need to pay extra amount for this. We will advise you if there is a chance that we are going to exceed the flying time allowed so you can then make the choice to carry on or stay within the budget.
Serious fly anglers who wish to fish truly remote areas will love this expedition but needless to say it’s best to make sure your fly fishing skills are well honed and ready to take on the large brown trout that inhabit these special places.
Dec – April
Prior to December many of the fish that we want to target are down near the estuary’s feeding on whitebait. They generally start heading back up the rivers in early December in preparation for the next major food source, cicadas. These rivers close at the end of April for spawning.
If the weather on the day of the trip is not conducive to fly into South Westland we have opportunities to heli fish staying on the Eastern side of the Southern Alps which usually keeps us out of the weather. On the odd occasion this is not possible we can revert back to using the 4WD for the day.
As my client you will pay for the helicopter portion of the trip on the day so you will only get charged for the helicopter if we fly and where we fly to.
NB. Single river heli trips in this area can also be arranged as a drop off/pick up trip but are best done as two+ day camp out option due to the amount of flying time involved.
These trips are based on using a Hughes 500 helicopter with a maximum of 2 anglers.
NB. The above cost is approximate and is subject to change due to fuel costs and different helicopter providers at any time!
Make a booking and in the comments area please specify The South Westland Heli Fishing Explorer trip.