Otago Central Rail Trail & Lord Of The Rings Flight
See the Otago Central Rail Trail from a bird's eye view! Take off from our base at Cromwell and take in the immediate highlights: Cromwell town, Highlands Motorsport Park, Lake Dunstan, the meeting of the Clutha and Kawarau Rivers.
See the Cromwell Basin from the air as you track along Lake Dunstan to the Bendigo subregion - an area rich in gold mining, wine growing and a LOTR filming site: the Great East Road which Arwen travelled with Frodo to the safety of Rivendell, fleeing the Nazgul.
After flying over the Bendigo wine sub-region, cross over the Dunstan Mountains and pick up a section of the 150km Otago Central Rail Trail from Omakau (also a LOTR filming site) and follow some of the best parts of the trail through tunnels and over viaducts.
En route you will discover an untamed, natural environment, Otago’s harsh and daring past, and look in awe at the early engineering feats of the pioneers. From the comfort of the helicopter you will enjoy the scenery, tunnels and bridges that once were the secret preserve of railway workers.
This flight also presents a great insight into the Maniototo and Manuherikia regions as you fly across the plains to the Poolburn Dam. The Poolburn Dam Reservoir was used as a filming location for Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings movie triology: the surrounding area was used extensively to portrait the land of Rohan.
Returning from Poolburn Dam, your flight path takes you over picturesque Alexandra township and past its iconic ‘Rock Clock’.
If time allows, stop off at the historic Chatto Creek Tavern, established in 1886. Their signature blue cod, whitebait and ribeye steak meals are definitely something worth writing home about! (optional add-on)
Follow the Clutha River upstream and through the Cromwell Gorge and see the engineering marvel that is the Clyde Dam, NZ’s third largest hydro electric dam, from the air.
What you will see: