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Heliworx1 copyWhen Donna Wil­li­ams met expert heli­copter pilot Den­nis Young she was scared of heights. Think­ing this dis­par­ity meant their rela­tion­ship might nev­er get off the ground, lit­er­ally or oth­er­wise, she con­fron­ted her ver­tigo and flew with him. “Before that flight I wouldn’t have even got up on a gar­age roof,” she says.

It obvi­ously did the trick though, as Wil­li­ams is now a con­ver­ted heli­copter fan, and the couple enjoy an adven­ture-filled life as dir­ect­ors of Kapiti Heli­worx, which was born in 2012 after three years in development.

The thriv­ing busi­ness, based at Paraparaumu’s Lindale Tour­ist Com­plex, offers a range of safe yet exhil­ar­at­ing ser­vices, includ­ing scen­ic flights, Tararua drop-offs for trampers, hunters and moun­tain bikers, wed­ding flights, pho­to­graphy trips, pic­nics and spe­cial occa­sions, and some com­mer­cial operations.

Now, in a first for Kapiti’s flour­ish­ing tour­ism mar­ket, Heli­worx has put togeth­er a unique pack­age in col­lab­or­a­tion with some of the district’s best-known attrac­tions. The Kapiti Coast Exper­i­ence is a day excur­sion begin­ning with trans­fers from Wel­ling­ton to Kapiti on Tran­zit Coach­lines. First, vis­it­ors get the chance to exper­i­ence a Heli­worx scen­ic flight over Kapiti Island, with com­ment­ary provided along­side access­ib­il­ity that Wil­li­ams says is not pos­sible to achieve any oth­er way.

It’s a dif­fer­ent world up there,” she says. “The island was formed 200 mil­lion years ago, and the huge abund­ance of nat­ive growth and bird­life offers some of the best vis­tas in New Zea­l­and.” The nature and con­ser­va­tion theme is con­tin­ued with a vis­it to Waikanae’s Nga Manu Nature Reserve, offer­ing the oppor­tun­ity to get up close and per­son­al with nat­ive creatures, includ­ing eels that can be fed by hand.

If all that activ­ity gen­er­ates a thirst, says Wil­li­ams, a behind-the-scenes tour of the fam­ous Tuatara Brew­ery with tast­ings and nibbles will soon put that right. Last but not least is a vis­it to South­wards Car Museum, which houses the largest private car col­lec­tion in the south­ern hemisphere.

Priced at $295 per per­son, the pack­age is flex­ible and designed for groups, with the order in which the attrac­tions are vis­ited tailored to suit. “You can even arrive at Nga Manu or South­wards in the chop­per,” says Wil­li­ams. “The excur­sion is great for tour­ists, cor­por­ate con­fer­ences, team-build­ing days or people out for a spe­cial occa­sion. And the coach trans­fer means they don’t even have to worry about mak­ing their own way out to Kapiti.”

Put­ting togeth­er so many of Kapiti’s best offer­ings into a single pack­age as stream­lined as the sleek, gleam­ing heli­copter sit­ting on its launch pad at Lindale seems to be a tour­ism mas­ter stroke on Williams’s part, and if the light in the eyes of the former ver­tigo-suf­fer­er as she looks at the wait­ing machine is any­thing to go by, this really is the way to travel.




Kapiti Heli­worx

91 Main North Road

Lindale Tour­ist Complex


0508 435 496[/info]

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