The Top 3 Ways to Celebrate Mid-Winter Christmas Down Under
We know for many ex-pats in the region, this time of year can be tough. It’s deep winter – but without excuses for the wine, cheese and family celebrations that cold days and dark nights usually bring. That’s why we’re pulled together our top experiences to gather together your friends or family and celebrate a mid-winter Christmas Central Otago style!
Check out our Top 3 suggestions
Usually a jet-setter?
Let us take you on your very own European taste adventure in the Southern Alps.
Like to keep it simple?
Get above the clouds and enjoy a moment of peace and tranquillity.
Is Christmas all about the food?
Check out our heli-dine experience that will make your mouth water...
1. Alpine Heli-Fondue – Enjoy A European Adventure This Winter Right Here In Your Own Back Yard!
What better way to make memories with loved ones this winter than with an unforgettable day of Swiss-style dining in the Southern Alps.
Soar beyond your imagination with Central Otago as your backdrop and indulge your taste-buds in a journey of their own with our homemade Swiss-style Fondue in the snow. Sip a glass of Central Otago’s Finest, as you sink into the snow and dip into deliciously rich cheese or chocolate – the choice is yours!
Board the H120 helicopter and settle in for a scenic private charter flight over the stunning vineyards that line the Cromwell Basin. Pilot Richard will indulge you with his brilliant knowledge of the local area and it’s history, giving you a whole new view of the Central Otago region, you wouldn’t get anywhere else.
Land at a secluded alpine landing spot with views of the Southern Alps, famed Mount Cook and the magnificent Mount Aspiring National Park. Now is your time to sit back, relax and take in the breath-taking views.
Whilst you take in the feast for the eyes, we will set up your delicious fondue in your exclusive spot in the snow. Choose between cheese or chocolate fondue – to accompany your bottle of specially sourced Central Otago wine. Indulge, unwind and simply relax with your friends, family and our guides.
Did we have you at ‘Fondue’? Or do you want to know more? Check out some more pictures of our heli-fondue experience or give us a ring to enquire about booking. Our Alpine Heli-Fondue starts at just $262 per person based on 4 people travelling.
2. Alpine Landing – View Central Otago’s Vineyards From Above And Land With Views Of Mount Cook
Life can be complicated enough – we keep things beautifully simple and affordable when it comes to our alpine landing flights. Simple gather your friends or loved ones together and let us help you make memories you’ll cherish for years to come. Choose from 30 or 45 minutes and get ready to buckle up for the ride of your life…
We’re never sure which will wow you most – the historic gold-mining stories of the 1800’s or the new-age gold that lines the region, woven like a unique tapestry of vineyards and orchards that change colour with every season!
With mid-winter Christmas the occasion, the highlight is our alpine landing in the snow where you will be treated to a suitably decadent hot chocolate to sip on as you sink in the wondrous views!
Whether you're staying in Cromwell, Alexandra, Queenstown, Wanaka or beyond, take to the sky and see the best of Central Otago from its best vantage point.
This experience starts from just $179 at the time of writing! You can read more about it here or give us a call to find out more.
3. Heli-Dine With An 2-Course Epicurean Lunch At Carrick Winery
Combine a 45 min Cromwell Basin helicopter flight with a remote alpine/snow landing on the Old Woman Range, followed by lunch at one of our favourite spots lining the river.
Christmas is all about food after all – and Carrick Winery offer an incredible epicurean feast with their ever-changing seasonal menu! From high country spreads, to mid-winter specials – their menu never disappoints. Long lunches are the best so with this experience you will sit down for two-courses from their a la carte menu – followed by tea or coffee. This is of course washed down with a glass of wine (or two if you so desire…).
This starts at $449 per person and includes helicopter drop off at Carrick Winery. Click here to read more or give us a call if you have any questions!
Top 5 Central Otago Father’s Day Adventures
We all need reasons to celebrate at the moment and Father’s Day should be no exception! Whether his amazing cooking kept you going through lockdown or whether his ‘Dad’ jokes drove you up the wall – we have a few ideas of how to ‘wow’ your Dad (or partner) this Father’s Day.
Whether you’re a long time local looking to try something new, or staying in Central Otago, Queenstown or Wanaka for the getaway, we have a number of brilliant options to help you make memories that’ll last a lifetime.
1. Keep it simple with our Local’s Special - Fly Up To Slapjack Saddle For An Alpine Landing
A great opportunity to combine a helicopter flight with stunning views of the Central Otago landscape. Wow your Dad this Father’s Day without breaking the bank with this swift 30 minute flight experience up to Slapjack Saddle for a brief alpine landing.
This flight overs a fleeting insight into the history of the Cromwell Basin gold mining history and cherry orchards that line the region. Fly through the Kawarau Gorge to a short alpine landing on Slapjack to take in the views across the Southern Alps.
On the return flight fly over the vineyards of Bannockburn and Cromwell town, glimpsing Lake Dunstan from above.
Starting at just $179/person this is a great gift for those looking for affordable luxury.
2. Heli-Bike Adventure
.For many Dads out there, helicopter mountain biking (HeliBike) is the holy grail of mountain biking. For us, it's a way of giving you an awe-inspiring day out in the mountains.
You don't have to be an expert rider - we offer up a fun filled day combining a scenic helicopter flight, a day out riding in New Zealand's high country and a whole lot of fun, history and good company. Book a private tour if you wish, or if not, small groups are guaranteed.
Our philosophy is to showcase the Central Otago high country - without having to ride uphill for hours to get there. There are no jumps, no tight corners and no pressure. With the tracks being similar to enduro or touring routes being bike-fit is advantageous it is not a necessity!
Why not end up at a local cafe, winery, historic pub or fruit-laden orchard for a well earned drink – after all, you’ve earnt it!
The self-ride heli-bike experience is an organised trip: fly to the start of your chosen trail and hit the track; includes a packed lunch, route maps, trail descriptions, and road transport back to base at the end of the ride as required.
Our Self-Ride trips start at $449pp with you bringing your own bike. We can also arrange bike hire. Simply click here to read more or give us a call to talk it through
3. Let’s Get Racy – Heli-Highlands Adventure Combo
Buckle up for take off with our Cromwell Basin Flight with Alpine Landing: This 45 min helicopter flight offers a glimpse into the area’s rich gold mining history, both present day and days gone by. It showcases the basin’s breath-taking Central Otago landscape, with views to Mt Aspiring, Mt Cook and the Southern Alps. You'll feel on top of the world!
Next stop is hopping in the Highlands Taxi to take a tour of the international standard race circuit in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo that promises a taxi ride like never before!
Dial up the speed ready to set your fastest lap time on Highland's 650m Go-Kart track! And finally enjoy a relaxing wander around The National Motorsport Museum which hosts a collection of historically significant Race Cars and the Motorsport Hall of Fame.
We suggest finishing the day off with an ice cold beer at the Highlands café and bar!
This jam-packed adventure starts at just $399 per person for a day of adrenaline fuelled fun
4. A Feast For The Eyes & The Taste Buds
Sidle up for a gastronomic experience like no other with our Heli-Dine experience and an unbeatable Stoaker Room Banquet Platter.
Combine a 45 min Cromwell Basin helicopter flight with a remote alpine/snow landing on the Old Woman Range, followed by lunch at one of our favourite spots overlooking Cromwell’s famous Orchards.
After feasting your eyes on the endless mountain views, sink your teeth into the signature Stoaker Banquet Platter with a wine tasting flight of 5 world-class Wild Earth Wines - followed by a tea or coffee and something sweet, All specially hand-crafted in their unique wine barrel cookers.
This foodie adventure starts at just $449 per person and includes a helicopter drop off at the The Stoaker Room – talk about arriving in style!
5. Heli Jeep Wine Adventure – Because Life Is All About The Journey
Landing on the lawn at the Cloudy Bay Tasting Shed is an experience not to be missed – aside from feeling like an absolute rock star there is no better way to get a true understanding of the surrounding landscape and sheer scale of the Central Otago wine region.
As the team take you through the wine making process, from planting the vines and nurturing the grapes, through to optimal harvesting and of course the delicious result! After tasting some of the regions finest food and wine, you are escorted by Jeep on to the next chapter of the adventure.
Central Otago being the hottest wine-growing region in the South Island means the open top comes into its own. Visiting the small, authentic wineries, run by dedicated expert teams is the highlight for many. You will meet the maker and be taken on a taste experience like no other.
The Heli Jeep Wine package includes:
Available from Queenstown, Wanaka, Dunedin and Cromwell
Prices start from $1300/person and include pick ups from surrounding regions – click through to read more or give us a call if you have any questions!
Ready to book your Dad the trip of a lifetime?
Touch base with us to discuss your ideas.
Dip Into A Bite-Sized Taste Of Luxury This Winter
We love this article, recently featured in the Cromwell Bulletin about our exciting new Heli-Fondue Adventure – check out what they had to say…
A New Winter Offering For Kiwi Travellers Visiting Central Otago
We may not be able to jet off to their favourite winter destination this year, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on a dose of wanderlust, or new international taste sensations.
“We want to offer kiwis the chance to sit back, relax and simply unwind with friends and family. And what better way to escape the everyday than with mountain views and food from a place we can only dream of…
right here in their own back yard?”
Jolanda (Owner & Operations Manager)
A Cheesy Treat For Domestic Kiwi Travellers
This new adventure brings a taste of Swiss-style luxury to Central Otago with a price tag that won’t make their eyes water. For families looking to make the most of the winter holidays, couples looking to create lasting memories or independent travellers looking to break away from the beaten tourist track -there could be worse options than Swiss-style dining in the Southern Alps.
Authentic Central Otago fare with a Swiss twist
Husband and wife team Richard and Jolanda have been living in New Zealand for 20 years ensuring they are no strangers to kiwi hospitality. Guests will take off in the H120 helicopter with the spectacular vineyards that line Central Otago as their backdrop.
Pilot Richard will indulge guests with his knowledge of the local area and its rich history. Authenticity is key Swiss foodie Jolanda, who is working with Gourmet Picnics Central Otago, ensuring guests won’t find a better fondue this side of Zurich.
Making Memories That Will Last a Lifetime
Guests flying with Heliview Flights will land at a secluded alpine landing spot with views of the Southern Alps, famed Mount Cook and the magnificent Mount Aspiring National Park. Richard & Jolanda know first-hand experiences like this don’t come along often and so they know how important it is to make them last. The Alpine Heli Fondue package includes photographs as well as an in-flight video, for guests to take home, usually valued at $100.
Sink Into The Snow and Dip Into Delicious Fondue
Whilst visitors take in the feast for the eyes, the team will set up the fondue. Guest can choose between cheese or chocolate fondue to accompany their bottle of specially sourced Central Otago wine.
Once visitors have had enough dipping and sipping, it’s time to head back to base with an equally stunning return flight – life is about the journey after all.
Cutting (through the cheese) to the chase
Even the thought of an ‘affordable’ helicopter experience will be enough to make most kiwis eyes roll but this 2-hour adventure starts at only $262/person based on 4 passengers.
That’s about as much as it costs to get your car serviced, your hair cut and coloured, or buy a flash new pair of shoes. When it comes to holiday spending, there’s not a lot of need to wonder which you might remember more, 10 years down the track.
This Package Includes:
Prices & Availability:
$949 (From $475/person) based on a min of 2 people.
$999 (From $333 per person) based on 3 people flying.
$1049 (From $262 per person) based on 4 people flying.
Available during the winter months (July – September).
Check availability here.