No matter where you get married in Queenstown, you’re guaranteed to have a stunning backdrop, but if you want to literally take your wedding photos to another level… get in a helicopter!
With a number of Helicopter companies available, each servicing different mountaintop locations around the Queenstown-Lakes area, the hardest part will be choosing which location to go to. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled Queenstown’s best locations for heli wedding photos into one list, so all you have to do is pick…
With a name like “The Remarkables”, there’s no wonder why this epic spot made it onto the list. With views spanning the length of Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown, it’s the perfect location to get some incredible mountainous or lake view shots.
Positioned just above the airport, the Remarkables is a great option for a quick heli photoshoot between your ceremony and reception, without leaving your guests waiting too long.
Looking for drama in your photos? This is the spot. Just a short flight and you’ll find yourself immersed in the natural tussocky grass & rocky outcrops. You can also overlook the lake, depending on where your heli lands.
Because of the multiple landing locations, Bayonet Peaks is a great backup plan that can be utilised if it’s too windy elsewhere. This is one of our favourite spots because it’s not over-photographed and has views of Remarks, Lake Wakatipu and the lush green valley floor.
Looking to get the best of both worlds, with stunning mountain views and expansive lake views? Cecil Peak should definitely be on top of your list!
The most popular landing spot on Cecil Peak is a place called “The Ledge.” Perfect for a heli wedding photo shoot or elopement ceremony, this plateau of land juts out of the side of the mountain and creates an ideal landing spot for you and your heli.
A quick flight from Queenstown, lower Cecil Peak is also known as a great ‘backup plan’ for Heli Weddings, as you can often land lower down the mountain where incredible views are still available, but these spots can still be a bit more sheltered on a windy or low-cloud day.
A 20-minute flight from Queenstown takes you to the breathtaking Earnslaw Burn, tucked away at Mount Earnslaw Station. Known for its countless dramatic cascading waterfalls and hanging glacier, it truly is one of the most magical spots to take your wedding photos. Earnslaw Burn was also one of the filming locations from The Hobbit movie!
While being a fantastic location year-round, it’s important to note that there aren’t as many fast-flowing waterfalls in the winter compared to spring/summer/autumn, and the sunlight hours are also limited in the winter. But, the photos are still STUNNING (see above!)
Made popular by its nearby Instagram-famous hiking spot, this is one of the most popular heli wedding locations around.
Also known as Mount Roy, this location overlooks the beautiful Lake Wanaka, sporting both full lake and mountain views for some seriously stunning wedding photos.
Located in Fiordland at 1390 m elevation, this alpine lake is one seriously unforgettable photoshoot location.
In summer Lake Erskine’s water is a crisp clear blue colour and on a still day can produce mirror-like photos that will take your breath away. In winter, your photos are made extra special by the snow-capped mountains that tower over the ice-covered lake and snowy surrounds.
Lake Lochnagar is another breathtaking alpine lake, but on a larger scale than Lake Erskine. Because of its size, there are a variety of landing options, all of which make for spectacular photos. On one side you have a beautiful pebble beach and historic hikers hut and on the other side you’ll discover a hidden waterfall and hillside forest.
On a still day, the reflections of the surrounding mountain peaks are indescribable. Despite its vastness, “Lake loch” is still super private and perfect for intimate moments.
The Rees Valley
Recently seen on the big screen in Tom Cruise’s “Mission Impossible: Fall Out”, The Rees Valley is simply picture perfect.
With glacier fed rivers, deep green valleys and spectacular mountainous scenery, it’s an exceptionally gorgeous place to spend time with your lover and a photographer in tow.
Now that you’ve got an insiders perspective on the best heli wedding photo locations, here are some other top tips to help you plan your perfect wedding photo heli trip:
– Take time to choose the perfect spot that ticks the boxes of what’s most important to your day. Besides the view, also think about: the time of year, the time of day, how much time you would like to spend in the heli or on the mountain top, and also if you’re open to driving to an airport that’s not close to your venue.
– This is your once in a lifetime YOLO moment, so if you ‘re struggling to choose one spot, think about doing a multi-location heli trip. You might want a moody riverside shot, and also feel on top of the world at Coromandel Peak and going to two spots really helps to capture all of the shots you’re after. So just do it, do it once and really well!
– Speak with your heli provider to get all of the information about your heli before planning the rest of your day. You may find that some locations are best to visit in the late afternoon or early evening to make the most of the sun / sunset, so you’ll want to schedule this into your day accordingly.
– Make sure you pack a warm jacket, and some boots, just in case! If you don’t have anything appropriate, you can hire snow boots and warm kits locally so that you’re nice and toasty between shots. Or, if you’d like your coat to add a little glam to your look, hire a vintage or faux fur to keep you warm. It’s better to have layers and not need them than need them and not have them!
– Don’t forget the bubbles! It’s always nice to spend a few quiet minutes on the mountaintop celebrating with your lover. Sneak a newlywed selfie or you can even take your wedding cake to also share it on the mountain top.