Hikers tend to be adventurous people, always excited to explore new places. Even better if they’re secret spots that few people have ever seen.
Often the most spectacular trails are the most difficult to access, so taking to the air can be the best way to make the inaccessible accessible. From islands rich with hiking wonders to true wilderness that can only be accessed by walking for days or via rugged four-wheel drive tracks, flying makes everything easier.
To truly explore remote locations in Australia and New Zealand – whether it’s the incredible trails of Maria Island, Mungo National Park, Hinchinbrook Island, or even the Kimberley – take one of the guided trips below or organise your own trip by hiring a charter jet or helicopter.
Walk deep in The Kimberley with Life’s an Adventure
The Kimberley Explorer is a 7-day pack-free adventure through the remote wilderness of Western Australia’s Kimberley region. This walk takes you to Lake Argyle, Home Valley Station, El Questro and the East Kimberleys, showcasing an outstanding diversity of landscapes from rugged sandstone ranges to rainforest pockets, stunning gorges, and palm-fringed waterholes. Many adventurers report that the highlights of the trip include a flight into the Bungles, saving 9 hours of drive time, followed by heli-hiking into the remote Picaninny Gorge in the Purnululu National Park, a World Heritage Site and usually only accessible via a 3-day pack hike.
Heli-hike New Zealand’s Glaciers
The glaciers of New Zealand offer unique hiking experiences, with an array of different options to suit different tastes, availability, and comfort levels. Tours to the Fox Glacier, the Tasman Glaciers, and the Franz Josef Glacier all provide chartered flights or heli-rides in and out, allowing you to absorb the beauty of the glaciers from the ground and the air. All tours are guided, and snow gear and crampons are provided.
Purnululu (Bungle Bungles) Heli-Hiking Experience with Walk into Luxury
Experience the beauty of Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungles Range on this private adventure from El Questro. The tour begins with a private helicopter ride over the East Kimberley rivers and ranges, followed by a 4WD journey through the national park, taking in the famous beehive domes. Then, you get the choice between a private guided hike to Cathedral Gorge or Echidna Chasm. You can finish your day with another flight, taking in the spectacular Rugged Ranges and landing at a secret waterfall swimming location before heading back to El Questro for dinner and drinks.
“The Walls of China” at the remote Mungo National Park
Traverse Tongariro National Park the easy way with Robertson Lodges
For those looking for an easy way to experience the isolated beauty of the Tongariro National Park, Robertson Lodges offers a unique heli-hiking experience. The tour starts with a flight over a spectacular landscape of bush, tussock, and mountain rivers to the heart of the Central North Island, which is normally only accessible by a three-day hike. Your pilot will drop you at the summit to soak in the views before you head downhill on a picturesque 10km long trail (with a vertical drop of 2,500 feet!). The trail finishes on the bank of a beautiful backcountry stream, where your helicopter will be waiting to return you to your accommodation.
Hike South Australia’s Chase Range with Rawnsley Park Station
Explore the beauty of the Flinders Ranges with Rawnsley Park Station on a single-day, three-day or five-day walking tour. The single-day tour includes a 10-minute helicopter flight into Chace Range swagging campsite and a guided hike through the Chace Track with stunning views of the Elder Range, Ulowdna Range and Wilpena Pound.
The three and five-day hikes are led by experienced guide Kym Tilbrook and take you through the diverse landscapes of the area, showcasing its flora, fauna, and geology. The tours include walks through Wilpena Pound, Tanderra Saddle, Bridle Gap, Blinman and Parachilna Gorge, parts of Heysen Trail and Rawnsley Bluff. The third night of the five-day walk, and the first night of the three-day walk, include a Heli-Camping Experience, where you can watch the sunset from the top of the Chace Range, dine with wine under the night sky around a campfire, spend the night in a swag and wake up to a cooked breakfast before your three-hour return walk to Rawnsley Park Station.
Life’s an Adventure’s Walk Three Capes (with Tasman Island heli-hike)
This 3-day tour offers a pack-free hiking experience on the Three Capes and Tasman Peninsula. The tour includes walks to Cape Raoul, Cape Hauy, and the Tasman Coastal Track between Waterfall and Fortescue Bays, as well as an option to take a helicopter flight over Cape Pillar and Tasman Island to experience the dramatic sea cliffs from the air or a wilderness cruise around the base of Cape Pillar for a closer view of this remote coastline.
Whether you’re looking for a short day trip or a multi-day guided hike, arriving at the trailhead via the air makes for an exciting start to any walk. These trips are perfect for hikers and bushwalkers, adventure seekers, or anyone who wants to experience the beauty of the wilderness from a different perspective.
Have you been heli-hiking or chartered a flight for a remote hike? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.
Exploring the Great Ocean Road?
You won’t see the best sights from your car. Get the definitive guidebook, featuring the 25 best walks in the area with detailed instructions and maps.