Aerial view of Mount Cook and Lake Pūkaki. © rusm

The Grand Traverse: a spectacular flight of fancy


AA Members can save 10% on selected accommodation!

Start looking

While it’s always stunning to get in amongst it all, try getting above it now and again for the ultimate mountain experience.

The Grand Traverse is a spectacular scenic flight that explores the Aoraki Mt Cook and Westland Tai Poutini national park, covering about 200km of unforgettable scenery. Stunning. Jaw-dropping. Spellbinding. Then you run out of words...

This 45-minute sweep of the terrain takes in some of the most outstanding sights you will see in a lifetime of outstanding sights. Turquoise glacial lakes, their greens and blues too vibrant to be true. Swathes of golden tussocklands and concrete-coloured braided river systems spread out as you swoop past. The gazillion hectares of high-country sheep stations in the Mackenzie Basin. Glacial valleys, alien landforms.

The Aoraki Mt Cook National Park is permanently under snow and ice, that bright white glare a wonderful wilderness unfolding craggy peak by craggy peak beneath your wings.

Westland Tai Poutini National Park includes the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers: you get to swoop down upon them like a crazed gull from a viewpoint few seldom experience.

It gives you perspective, context, understanding and the chills. Everyone gets a window seat (imagine all that and all you saw was the aisle carpet!) and the ‘wings-above’ configuration of the plane means obstruction-free viewing. Chocks away!

Explore more...

Be the first to comment on this page. You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Please log in or register if you don't have an account.

More stories like this

Find out more

Things to do

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park: home to our own Everest

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a rugged land of ice and rock, with 19 peaks over 3000 metres, including New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mount Cook.  Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Get outdoors

Westland Tai Poutini National Park: ancient ice

Westland Tai Poutini is an area of majestic primeval vistas: snow-capped mountains, glistening glaciers, forests, lakes, rivers and wetlands. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Get outdoors

Westland: land of ice dragons

Like an unfurling, white dragon, the Franz Josef Glacier flexes and curves between steep-walled valleys. Māori named it Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere – tears of the Avalanche Girl. Read the story . . . 

Find out more


Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers: monuments to nature’s power and beauty

Experience Fox and Franz Josef – two of the 140 glaciers that flow from the Southern Alps. Read the story . . . 

AA Members save on selected accommodation with
AA Traveller

AA Members
Book now
Non Members
Book now