Ski Planes At Mt Cook
View from the top of the Tasman Glacier
Lakestone Lodge to Mt Cook airport: 40 mins
Ski Plane Operator: Mt Cook Ski Planes www.mtcookskiplanes.com
It was with a fair bit of excitement this week that I was able to experience Mt Cook from a unique Kiwi invention the ski plane pioneered by Harry Wigley in the 1950’s with a retractable ski that enabled it to take off and land both on the tarmac at Mt Cook airport and on the snow up in the mountains around Aoraki Mt Cook. The plane itself was easy to recognise in amongst a few helicopters at the Mt Cook airport with skis in place right beside the wheels.
View from the window of the ski plane
The day in question was absolutely perfect with no wind or clouds to be seen. I was surprised to see the plane could hold up to 9 passengers plus the pilot, it was cosy in there but with lots of windows everyone had a good vantage point (I did hear later the back is the place to be for photos though). Nerves were slightly high when I saw it was -3 degrees outside at the airport but the plane was obviously a seasoned professional in these cold conditions. We took off up towards the Tasman Glacier – the longest Glacier in New Zealand and it felt pretty surreal as we approached the mountains and began our descent onto the snow – this has to be one of the most spectacular landing strips in the world. We got out and wandered around the pristine untouched snow and dropped off a few skiers who were going to take on the glacier – have to admit I was slightly envious and added this one to my bucket list. Then we were down to 3 so we clambered into the plane grabbing the best spots for photos and took off down the glacier and up into the air.
Our landing site on the top of Franz Joseph Glacier
We crossed over the Southern Alps to the West Coast and were lucky enough to land on the Franz Joseph Glacier too as the conditions for flying were perfect and the change in conditions is huge – from the vast dry landscapes of the Mackenzie basin to the lush wetland conditions on the West Coast – a fantastic contrast.
Looking out to the lush West Coast
Lake Pukaki - can you spot Lakestone Lodge in the distance?
It was so quiet and majestic up in the mountains – a pretty phenomenal experience and something I would definitely recommend as it is such a unique Kiwi experience to try. If the weather is clear definately give it a go.
Coming in to land at Mt Cook airport
We have stayed here a few times now, and it still exceeds expectations each time. The location of course is one of the most special places in all of NZ. The quality of the rooms and little design touches are special highlights. And then to top it all the welcoming and friendly service...
We throughly enjoyed our stay. What amazing views, waking up to see Mt Cook painted in soft pinks at dawn was truly special. We had a delicious meal, equivalent to any in an upmarket restaurant. Staff were attentive, but unobtrusive. Furniture and layout high quality. I’d love to...
Fiona T, Auckland
Came here for a week of relaxation. You don’t need to even leave your room to experience amazing views and all the activities/hikes nearby are great. I highly recommend the A2O trail on the east side of the lake. Staff was very kind and helped organize everything for me (I didn’t...
A stay at Lakestone Lodge was our reward for the grind of 2020. The accommodation and food were superb, and the hosts were friendly, attentive and well informed. The star of the show is the location – the lodge discreetly tucked away on a ridge above the road, away from other travellers...
The minute the gate opened and we drove up the Lakestone driveway, we instantly felt the stresses of work disappear. We couldn’t have chosen a better place to start our holiday. Our room was breathtaking. The Lodge itself ticks all the boxes. But the thing that stands out here is the...
We had an incredible stay at Lakestone Lodge for our elopement in October! We were blown away by the thoughtful touches and attention to detail throughout our entire stay. Stunning rooms and views! Delicious food! We couldn't have asked for a better location and experience. Thank you so...
From the moment we arrived till the follow up visit to pick up our bikes that had graciously been looked after while we shot up to Christchurch, the service and hospitality was amazing. Mike met us and with his staff quietly looked after our every need. Food was delicious and very well...
As soon as you walk through the doors of Lakestone lodge it becomes a haven of relaxation. Mike and Anna and their team are so welcoming and friendly ensuring they care for your every need. The lodge and rooms are stunning and oh so comfortable, the food is divine and our massages were the best...