Heli Glenorchy is a locally owned and operated helicopter company providing scenic helicopter experiences and commercial flights from Glenorchy Airfield, a 45 minute lakeside drive from Queenstown.
Glenorchy Aerodrome is located at the head of Lake Wakatipu. The spectacular drive from downtown Queenstown is rated as one of New Zealand’s Top 10 scenic drives, and a must-do for visitors exploring the region. Glenorchy is known as the "Gateway to Paradise", and the doorstep to the Southern Alps, Mount Aspiring Park and West Coast beaches. It is also a favoured filming location, many movies including the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Wolverine and Mission Impossible 6 movies were filmed in and around Glenorchy.
Due to our proximity to the National Parks and Milford Sound, Heli Glenorchy is able to offer competitively priced Glenorchy, Fiordland and Milford Sound scenic flights and heli-activities, without having to charge our customers for the extra cost of flying from Queenstown.
At Heli Glenorchy we don’t believe in mass tourism. We recognise that for many of our visitors, exploring New Zealand and taking a scenic helicopter flight into the untouched beauty of Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So we keep our fleet small, we keep the experience personal, we keep our operation safe, and we deliver that once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget.
Our Helicopter Fleet
The very elegant, stylish and ultra quiet EC120 comfortably carries four passengers plus pilot. An extra wide unobstructed cabin ensures excellent visibility for taking in the spectacular Southern Alps. With a Fenestron Tail Rotor system, this makes it one of the safest and quietest helicopters in it's class.
AS350-B3 (aka The Raptor!)
The Raptor is a colourful helicopter has been designed to provide its occupants with the highest level of comfort. In addition to the low vibration level, the passengers will appreciate the feeling of spaciousness and the panoramic view offered by the large windows.
Being a Dual-Hydraulic AS350B3+ Squirrel helicopter, this also makes it ideal for Commercial Support work, Fire Fighting, Heli Skiing and carrying larger groups.
BK117 (Twin Engine)
An exciting addition to the fleet. Passengers can enjoy the views from the comfort of leather chairs, air conditioning and a spacious seating configuration. The twin engine helicopter is perfect for larger families numbers and groups of friends wanting to travel together; ideal for seven to nine passengers. Seating configuration is interchangeable and an external pod has been fitted to allow for extra luggage. There is an option to have two pilots should passengers request this. This is one of only two twin engine helicopters available within the Queenstown region.
Heli Glenorchy operates under Action Helicopters Ltd Part 135 Civil Aviation Authority Air Transport Certificate with comprehensive Department of Conservation landing concessions in the Fiordland National Park and the Wakatipu region.
Nick Nicholson - CEO & Chief Pilot
Nick has over 20 years experience and 7200+ flying hours in helicopters. He has specialised in Heli-skiing, Search and Rescue, Aerial Fire Fighting and Commercial Precision Long-Lining.
A family man, Nick grew up in Te Anau and has spent the majority of his flying career in the mountains of Southern New Zealand and Alaska.
Nick’s love and intimate knowledge of flying in the mountains of Fiordland and the Southern Lakes region eventually led him to set up Heli Glenorchy so he could share his passion and experience with visitors to the region.
Bernie Attwood - Operations Manager / Pilot
Bernie has been with the company since May 2017. Over the years he has accumulated 6,000+ hours of flying.
Before returning to Arrowtown last year, Bernie had flown in Papua New Guinea, Antartica and New Zealand. During this time he was involved in various types of flying work, which include scenic, heliskiing, geologist support, oil, gas and mining, and commercial. Bernie was a wealth of experience and you can be guaranteed that he will tell you a few stories.
When Bernie isn't in the sky, you will find him mountain biking, waterskiing, sampling the regions wines and renovating his family home that he shares with wife Suzie and son Harrison.
Chris Brough - Pilot
Chris spent his younger years shearing sheep for a living until he thought ‘there must be an easier job on the body’ so started flying helicopters.
He has 18 years (5,600 hours) of flying experience over his time in the sky. Within this time Chris has flown in the Queenstown, Milford and Mount Cook areas. During Chris's time on Mount Cook he was part of the Rescue team which included Human Long Line rescues up to 11,000 feet on Mount Tasman. Chris also had some time flying further afield in Papua New Guinea gaining experience in Seismic Operations for 100 - 200 foot lines.
Qualified as a category B & D Instructor you know you are in safe hands when flying with Chris.
When Chris isn't flying he is listing to rock music, hunting and spending time with his family, wife Debbie, and two children Max and Lexi.
Eric Scott - Pilot
Eric is a true local. Born and bred in Glenorchy with his family having a long history with the area you can be sure to hear many stories. He also knows the best spots!
Eric has accumulated 2,500+ hours of flying in the New Zealand skies. He has been involved in a variety of work; mustering, wild animal recovery and culling, long-lining, charter and scenic work, sluicing, aerial photography and filming, fencing, frost fighting, general commercial work and heli-skiing.
Away from working as a helicopter pilot, Eric will be on the farm, hunting in the hills, tinkering with machinery and metal work, and seeing his partner Steph.
Philip Rive - Pilot
Philip was born and raised on Halfway Bay Station. In more recent years, Philip has been helping his wife Kate with the running of the neighbouring Cecil Peak Station. Philip is a local who knows the land well, has extensive knowledge of the area and its history. He has plenty of stories to share with visitors. Philip has accumulated 1,600+ hours in the sky.
Philip starting out flying when mustering on farms around Central Otago. During this time he found a true passion for flying helicopters. A man of multiple flying skills, which include fencing gear drop offs in remote locations, frost fighting, cherry crop drying and helisking. Scenic flights are a favourite with the reactions from visitors. Philip is one of Heli Glenorchy's casual pilots but he can always be relied on when the extra demand is there to fly.
In Philip's spare time you'll find him reading, watching movies, spending time with his family and telling endless stories.
Phil Casey - QA / Pilot
Our newest addition to the Heli Glenorchy family but he has been around a while so you're in safe hands. Phil began flying commercially in this area in 2003. The first four years were in aeroplanes before he transitioned into helicopters. Once in helicopters there was no going back.
Phil has flown throughout the South Island so he knows a thing or two about where some of the most amazing places are to explore. Further afield, Phil spent two years flying in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Scenic flights aren't the only aviation skill Phil has. He has accumulated 6000+ hours doing a variety of work including Scenic flights, Transfers, Medivacs, Lifting, Heliskiing, Instructing and Night Ops.
Whilst Phil enjoys all flying, operating amongst the Southern Alps and Fiordland would be his top pick.
Outside working life you will find Phil exploring the region diving, fishing, hunting, and spending time with his partner Teri.