You don’t need to take a scenic flight over the Southern Alps to get the perfect view of this stunning chain of mountains — just make sure you fly into (or out of) Queenstown Airport and hope for clear skies and a window seat.
Flying Out of Queenstown Airport
We were seated on the left hand side of the plane on our recent trip from Queenstown to Auckland. The flight attendant informed us that there would be great views of the Remarkables (Queenstown’s most iconic set of mountains) from that side (and views over Queenstown from the other). It didn’t disappoint. We had a clear (ish) day and it was amazing to get such sweeping views of the mountains near Queenstown. It didn’t stop there either. The Southern Alps mountain range stretches most of the way up the South Island, so we were treated to those incredible views for about half of the flight. We mostly saw ocean while flying over the North Island – I guess we were on the wrong side of the plane for that portion of the journey.
We flew back to Queenstown a few days later but the weather didn’t quite play its part. It was still a cool flight though, with mountains occasionally poking their heads out from the clouds.
What to do when you land in Queenstown
Queenstown Airport is only a few kilometres from the town. Once settled into your hotel there is so much to explore. There are some stunning short hikes, historic areas and all the adventure activities you could ever want to try. You’ll want to spend at least a few days in and around Queenstown, and there are also some day trips you can do to places like Milford Sound and Glenorchy. Check out my Queenstown posts for more information on New Zealand’s most popular tourist town.
Flying into or out of Queenstown Airport is one of the most scenic experiences you can have in New Zealand. Just hope you get a window seat and it’s a nice day!
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