Experiences Featured Outdoors Te Anau

Fiordland Floatplane Flights

Written by Penny Simpson

Fiordland has a long history of floatplanes and Te Anau company Wings & Water is continuing the legacy with daily flights over the spectacular region.

“There has been a floatplane based in Te Anau permanently ever since 1962 and today ours is the only one left operating in the South Island,” says pilot Kylie Krippner.

Kylie and her husband Ivan operate their Cessna 206 on scenic flights and charter trips to remote places.

“The floatplane is my baby and a great little six-seater workhorse with floats that allow us to land amongst the lakes and saltwater fiords of the Fiordland National Park,” she says. “Ivan and I take turns flying and teaching flight instruction through this awe-inspiring wilderness area.”

Kylie says she caught the floatplane bug in Alaska and loves flying in the Fiordland area.

“We can fly to absolutely incredible places and land on the water where others have never been before, it is such a privilege. I really love to fly to Dusky and Long Sounds as they are super remote and slightly more laid back than other fiords. There are many islands and peninsulas scattered throughout and we see spectacular wildlife including sometimes pods of bottlenose dolphins.”

Scenic flights are anything from quick 15-minute trips to 40-minute flights with multiple landings.

“People can see a lot on our 15-minute Lakes Explorer including multiple lakes, mountains and beautiful fiords and they are always impressed. We offer 20 and 30-minute scenic as well but our 40-minute Doubtful Sound flight is the most popular as people really want to see this remote Sound,” says Kylie.

“We also fly to Milford Sound and Dusky Sound and since Covid-19 have been busy taking charter groups of Kiwis to obscure places for tramping, fishing and hunting like George Sound, Lake Hankinson, Lakes Hakapoua and McKerrow.”

 Book online: www.wingsandwater.co.nz

About the author

Penny Simpson