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Where to see lots of helicopter activity in New Zealand?

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Where to see lots of helicopter activity in New Zealand?

Old 24th Oct 2018, 01:42
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Where to see lots of helicopter activity in New Zealand?

Heading there for a holiday, was wondering where there might be some choppers around? (Apart from the airports.)

Thanks in advance!
Tickle is offline  
Old 24th Oct 2018, 02:54
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The airports are where they are concentrated so if you want to see a lot of activity, that's where you have to go. Otherwise they're spread out anywhere difficult and remote - the point of a helicopter is to get somewhere you can't easily get to without a helicopter!

Always a lot of traffic at Queenstown airport. Always a lot of traffic at Mechanics Bay heliport in Auckland.
krypton_john is offline  
Old 24th Oct 2018, 21:09
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The only opportunities outside of airports I could think of were:
  • Airshows (Warbirds over Wanaka or a RNZAF airshow)
  • Frost fighting ops (but you need to get up really early on very cold days)
flyinkiwi is offline  
Old 24th Oct 2018, 21:55
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Franz Josef helipads on the West coast of the South Island is pretty busy. Mainly Squirrels and a few 500's.
BigMike is offline  
Old 24th Oct 2018, 22:25
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As mentioned Franz Josef Helipads on the South Islands West Coast. Also Queenstown and drive through to Milford Sound.
EMS R22 is offline  
Old 25th Oct 2018, 00:06
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As well as Franz Joseph, there is Fox glacier helipads. Also a little bit of action at a few lakefrontís. Rotorua, Taupo and Te Anau . Would be the best three lakes.

kaikoura at the waterfront. Wellington queens wharf.

There are often lots of helicopters at Wanaka Airport as well, as there are quite a few operators and a lot of maintenance done there. Also has the Alpine fighter collection and a transport museum right beside it.

New Plymouth airport has 139s and sometimes 212 or 412, although havenít had the Bells for a few years. Eltham, 30 min south of New Plymouth often has Bell Hueys out on the pad right beside the main road.
SuperF is offline  
Old 25th Oct 2018, 00:53
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I am down here at Wanaka at the moment and its actually the busiest uncontrolled airport in NZ. There are a lot of heli maintenance ops here as well as operators.

Alpine Helicopters
Wanaka Helicopters

We did a quick air to air shoot yesterday and when we were coming back in I counted a total of 19 helicopters parked out the front of various hangars, as well as quite a few coming and going from the various main shops.
KiwiNedNZ is offline  
Old 25th Oct 2018, 01:44
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A lot of Eurocopters of all shapes and sizes.
The odd D-model and Jetranger.
tartare is offline  
Old 25th Oct 2018, 10:42
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the sky....just keep looking up....
GrayHorizonsHeli is offline  
Old 26th Oct 2018, 09:40
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Cmon super F, what about the lovely JRís on the pad 👍
Kiwi500 is offline  
Old 9th Nov 2018, 01:51
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Thanks everyone for the replies, we had a great time in NZ and saw plenty of machines.

I saw countless AS350s around the south island mountains and lakes, a few EC130s, EC135s and H500s around (saw a couple of early /-tail models also), and a JetRanger and R44 here and there in Auckland. Seeing the H500s come in fast at Milford Sound against the mountain backdrop was a thrill. Didn't get to the Mechanics Bay Heliport unfortunately.

There's also an old mothballed Mil on display at a roadside cafe which you can go into just outside of Lake Taupo. The town itself has the McDonald's with a real DC-3 which you can go inside to eat your meal.
Tickle is offline  

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