Yesterday, Dave and I were lucky enough to be on one of those flights!! There was a large group of Chinese tourists who arrived via helicopter, and one of them was headed back to Blenheim, a nearby town we were going to the next day. Stacey came up with the brilliant idea that we should see if we could hitch a ride back to town on one of the choppers around 5 PM.
At this point, we were all lounging around in our togs (bathing suits) on a nearby jetty and I was drying off from my dip in the water. By the time we found Pip, the resort manager, to ask if she could ask the company about us going back on them, it was about 5:20. Since it was really last minute, she said we had to be at the helicopter pad, ready to go when the helicopter landed, which was going to be at 6 pm.
Stacey, Fran, Dave and I rushed back to our rooms, packed, and were there by about 5:40. The first chopper landed and we watched apprehensively to see if the pilot was ok with taking us back. Fortunately, he said it was alright and we got on!!
Dave and I got to sit in the front with the pilot, and boy was it a tight space! The views were fantastic though...the glass basically gave us a 360 degree view of everything. We were in the air for about 15 minutes and just glided over the sounds. My favourite part was popping over a mountain range and seeing the ocean and the Kaikoura mountain range in the distance. Absolutely gorgeous!!
The pilot was a stud (in the words of Dave) and also drove us back to Picton so that we could retrieve our car. This was completely unexpected and is an experience I will never forget!
|Flying over Picton|
|The ocean and the Kaikoura mountain range|
|Stacey and Fran in the back of the chopper|
To top off the night we had some delicious Indian food and then car camped by the beach. To save space, we didn't pack our sleeping pads, so it was a bit uncomfortable, but SO worth it. Thank you Tasman/Coast to Coast Helicopters for the ride!