Spectacular Scenic Flights Around Australia
Australia’s landscapes look extraordinary from the air. Buckle up as you wing your way through these scenic flight experiences which are sure to be the highlight of your next Australian incentive itinerary.
An incentive itinerary in Australia’s Red Centre would not be complete without a scenic flight at Uluru, especially at sunrise or sunset. Two local companies offer flights in the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park and can run back to back departures for large groups. Ayers Rock Scenic Flights and Ayers Rock Helicopters has a fleet of aircraft which varies in size dependent on the time of year and can take up to four passengers per helicopter and seven per fixed-wing plane. Professional Helicopter Services can also take groups of up to six passengers per aircraft, and usually have three or four aircraft based at Yulara (Uluru’s main township).
For groups visiting South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, a flight over Wilpena Pound - an 800-million-year-old natural amphitheatre in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park - is an essential experience. Flights are available from Wilpena Pound Resort with Wrights Air, which can take groups of up to 13 passengers at any one time across three fixed-wing aircraft. Working sheep station and eco-accommodation provider, Rawnsley Park Station, is the base for Chinta Air, which operates a fixed-wing aircraft that seats up to four passengers, and for Helistar, which operates a helicopter for up to three guests at a time.
If you’re planning a business event in Sydney, be sure to delight delegates with a seaplane flight over Sydney Harbour to take in the sights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Sydney Seaplanes have aircraft which seat between six and 10 passengers and can have up to 27 passengers in the air at any one time during peak season. Pair a scenic flight with a first-class dining experience at Empire Lounge in Rose Bay where the seaplanes depart from, or take delegates a little further afield to explore the magic of Broken Bay Pearl Farm or the gastronomic pleasures of Jonah’s Whale Beach or Berowra Waters Inn on the Hawkesbury River.
For planners who are keen to showcase Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region but are short on time, a day trip to the region with Swan River Seaplanes is the perfect solution. Regularly operating two Cessna Caravans – one on floats and one on wheels – groups of up to 24 guests (12 per aircraft) can be whisked to wine country in under an hour. Swan River Seaplanes can tailor a bespoke itinerary for groups incorporating wine tastings, gourmet dining and coastal scenery. Alternatively, they can fly guests to other destinations from Perth including Rottnest Island, where delegates can get a selfie with a quokka - one of the island’s adorable resident marsupials.
A hot air balloon flight at sunrise is a spectacular way for delegates to admire Australia's picturesque capital city of Canberra. Local experts Balloon Aloft Canberra run daily sunrise flights, and with eight balloons in their fleet, they can cater for groups of up to 40 guests. A dawn flight is an excellent way to kick off an incentive itinerary in Canberra, and it's worth the early start to float above Lake Burley Griffin and witness the soft morning light bathing the city's landmarks like Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and the National Carillon.
In Queensland’s Whitsundays, don’t miss the opportunity to take delegates on a scenic flight over the famous Whitehaven Beach. This seven-kilometre-long stretch of pure white silica sand looks spectacular from above, as does neighbouring Hill Inlet where the shifting tides create ever-changing swirling patterns in the sand. For groups based on Hamilton Island, Hamilton Island Air’s fleet includes four helicopters, two fixed-wing planes and a seaplane, seating a total of 44 passengers. On the mainland, GSL Aviation operates out of Whitsunday Coast Airport and can cater for groups of up to approximately 60 passengers across their fleet of seaplanes, fixed-wing planes and helicopters.
For incentive groups visiting the Great Ocean Road, a bird’s eye view of the legendary 12 Apostles is hard to beat. Melbourne-based helicopter company Microflite boasts a fleet of 10-12 aircraft which each seat between four and six passengers, allowing them to fly groups of up to 50 guests at a time to this spectacular part of Victoria. Conveniently, flights depart from Melbourne Heliport in the city centre, and Microflite can tailor bespoke itineraries like lunching at a winery en route back to Melbourne.
Another must-do scenic flight is ballooning over Melbourne at sunrise. Thanks to its smooth air currents and favourable geographic features, Melbourne is one of few cities in the world that allows hot air balloon flights over a city centre. Global Ballooning Australia can host groups of up to 50 delegates at any one time across five balloons, each of which can take 10 guests per basket. After the flight, treat your group to a champagne breakfast for the perfect start to a day exploring the vibrant city of Melbourne.
The staggering sea cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula are the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest, and they look extra impressive from the air. Osborne Helicopters has four helicopters which each seat five passengers, allowing groups of up to 20 guests at a time to experience the beauty of this dramatic part of Tasmania. Flights can be arranged to depart from Hobart, Port Arthur, or chartered from a destination of choice in Tasmania. Planners can pair the scenic flight with a guided tour of the Port Arthur Historic Site – one of the Cultural Attractions of Australia – followed by freshly shucked oysters and fine Tasmanian wines at Bangor Vineyard Shed on the journey back to Hobart.