Destination Expert Penny Buckley goes on an epic adventure to the spectacular Mount Aspiring National Park on South Island, New Zealand
One of my favourite days in New Zealand was exploring the Siberia Valley in the Southern Alps of the mountainous South Island. This remote place is accessed only by helicopter and is one of the country’s most naturally beautiful areas. With majestic snowy peaks, glaciers, forests and crystal-clear rivers, it is absent of human impact and completely unspoilt. We would strongly recommend this incredible experience to all clients who are visiting the Queenstown area.
Our adventure began at a helipad, a couple of hours’ drive out of Queenstown, where we met with our welcoming pilot, Harvey, to board our private helicopter. The next 50 or so minutes were utterly surreal, trying to soak in the surroundings, take photographs – but not too many – and listen to our pilot telling us about the geography beneath us.
The flight took us over Mount Aspiring National Park. At one point, we saw the most magnificent stag standing proud among the autumnal, golden bush, so Harvey swooped down towards it to give us a closer look. Taking in the aerial views of the staggering glacial lakes as we flew, we could already see the damaging effects of climate change with the diminishing glaciers.