Rotorua Thermal Explorer Helicopter Tour - 3 Hours

Most popular
Self drive
Fitness level moderate
Intensity level low
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Highlights & inclusions

3 hour helicopter flight with two landings
Landing on Mount Tarawera summit
Spectacular views of volcanic landscapes
Landing at a geothermal wonderland
Self-guided tour of Orakei Korako
Informative pilot commentary
Free cancellation up to 48 hours prior to experience

Select travellers & date

Select Travellers
Mon, Jul 15, 2024

What you can expect

Embark on a thrilling 3-hour Thermal Explorer helicopter flight and landing experience with Volcanic Air in Rotorua, immersing yourself in Rotorua's awe-inspiring volcanic scenery from above. Departing from the lakefront, your Rotorua helicopter trip includes a scenic flight with spectacular views, a landing on Mount Tarawera summit and a second landing at Orakei Korako Thermal Park for a self-guided walk.

To start off your helicopter flight in Rotorua, enjoy a bird's-eye view of Mokoia Island and the picturesque Crater Lakes District. As you soar over the Tarawera outlet, keep an eye out for glimpses of trout spawning in the river before it transforms into the mighty Tarawera Falls.

The journey continues towards Mount Tarawera, a dormant volcano that witnessed the largest eruption in New Zealand's recent history in 1886. Your expert Volcanic Air pilot will land on the summit of Mount Tarawera, providing the chance to see its craters and volcanic rifts up close. There will be plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the scenery before taking off for the next portion of your Rotorua helicopter trip.

The tour continues by following the 15-kilometre volcanic rift line caused by Mount Tarawera's 1886 eruption from above, concluding at the steaming cliffs and Inferno Crater of Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Witness the vibrant hues of the Artist’s Palette at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Park before your descent over the mighty Waikato River to the hidden valley of Orakei Korako.

Upon your second landing, you will catch a short ferry across the Waikato River to reach the Orakei Korako geothermal park. Step into a vibrant geothermal wonderland for a one-hour self-guided tour, where bubbling mud pools, steaming geysers, and colourful silica terraces create a surreal atmosphere. Refresh with a coffee or snack before re-boarding your helicopter for the final leg of the tour. The return helicopter flight to Rotorua offers views of farmland and the Paeroa mountain range, soaring over Rotorua City before gracefully landing at Rotorua lakefront.

This immersive three-hour adventure, including a 20-minute landing on Mount Tarawera and a one-hour exploration of the geothermal valley, promises a unique blend of helicopter flights, volcanic wonders, and a memorable journey through some of New Zealand's best geothermal treasures.


What you need to know

  • Three-hour helicopter flight, including two landings
  • 20-minute landing on Mount Tarawera summit
  • 60 to 90 minutes self-guided tour at Orakei Korako geothermal park
  • Professional and knowledgeable pilot
  • This experience departs at 9:00am, 12:00pm and 2:00pm, 7 days a week
Departure Location
  • This experience departs from Lakefront Drive on Rotorua City Lakefront
What To Bring
  • Comfortable closed in walking shoes
  • Clothes appropriate to the conditions on the day
  • Jacket
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Your camera!
Additional Information
  • This flight operates with a minimum of 2 adult fares
  • Please note that bags or packs are not permitted on board
  • A full safety briefing as well as safety equipment will be provided at the Volcanic Air Base. All passengers will be required to be weighed in order to ensure proper weight distribution in the aircraft
  • Under 2 free of charge
  • Children 2-11 years pay a child fare (75% of the adult fare)
Cancellation Policy
  • Should cancellation occur within 30 days of the date of travel a 25% cancellation fee will apply
  • If cancellation occurs within 7 days of the date of travel a 75% cancellation fee will apply
  • If cancellation occurs within 48 hours of the date of travel a 100% cancellation fee will apply
  • If the tour is cancelled due to adverse weather or due to circumstances beyond Volcanic Air control, Volcanic Air will reschedule clients on the earliest convenient flight available or a full refund will apply
Booking Information
  • Confirmation in the form of a tour voucher will be received at time of booking
  • Upon completion of purchase, please print the voucher and present on day of the experience
  • Mobile Vouchers are accepted! - Vouchers can also be presented on your mobile device for this attraction
  • For your information, complete Tour Operator Information including contact details is included on your tour voucher
  • Availability was accurate at the time of booking however, is subject to change due to circumstances out of our control
  • We strongly suggest reconfirming your booking with the tour operator within 24 hours of making your booking and prior to making other travel arrangements

Need help?

  • Email us at
  • Help code: D2B-6811
  • This experience is supplied by White Island Helicopter Flight departing Rotorua


Our Promise

  • We are committed to sustainability
  • We have an approved Science Based Target
  • We use third party verified standards
Experience Oz

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Custodians of Country and their connections and continuous care for the skies, lands and waterways throughout Australia.