Category Archives: News

Globally Explosive - New Zealand’s World-Famous Volcanology

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Here at Aerius Helicopters we’re big on volcanos – and not just because of their explosive qualities. We live and breathe volcanic speak. Our country’s rich and diverse tectonic roots and eruptive activity not only provide us with clues about our ancestors and genealogy, but also position us high up on the global stage. We’re a volcanic nation through and through, here’s why:

Most Active and Exclusive

White Island is not only New Zealand’s most active volcano, scientists predict it has most probably been active since the arrival of our Maori ancestors between 1250–1300 AD. Today, White Island is one of the few privately owned volcanoes in the world. After a series of changing hands throughout the 1800s, White Island was purchased by stockbroker Raymond Buttle in 1936. Today, the Buttle Family Trust owns the island.

Most Explosive

New Zealand can lay claim to the world’s largest known eruption in the past 70,000 years. Taupo’s Oruanui eruption occurred approximately 26,500 years ago, depositing over 1000 kilometres of volcano materials – much of central North Island was 200 metres deep in ignimbrite. Ash fall affected the entire country, even spreading as far as the Chatham Islands which are located 1000 kilometres away from the eruption zone.

Most Damaging

The Land of Milk and Honey – as New Zealand is fondly known – was once home to the eighth wonder of the world – Lake Rotomahana’s famous Pink and White terraces. Mount Tarawera’s eruption on June 10th 1886 spread 16,000 kilometres of ash and debris, destroying the terraces and three villages. The stunning terraces had formed naturally over 500 years from bubbling silica rich water flowing down hillsides, which cooled and crystallised at the base forming giant staircases. Local people would bath in the lower levels of the terrace-like basins where the water temperature was lukewarm. Recent scientific analysis and study has concluded that the terraces – or what remains of them – are most likely buried somewhere in the middle of the lake and not on land.

Most Productive

The Taupo Volcanic Zone isn’t just famous for its ginormous eruption of old, today it holds the title of the world’s most productive region of silicic – or igneous rich rock – volcanic activity. Stretching all the way from Mount Ruapehu through Ngauruhoe, Tongariro, Lake Taupo, through Whakamaru, through the Rotorua volcanic complex and 85 kilometres beyond White Island, the TVZ is approximately 350 kilometres long and 50 kilometres in width.

If you're interested in experiencing the natural beauty of White Island, check out our White Island flight and flight and tours.

Experience NZ's Must-Do Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

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A Hobbiton Movie Set Tour will transport you to the peaceful region of Middle-Earth where Bilbo Baggins lived and that famous quest for the ring began.

Imagine your first glimpse of the Shire is from the air, looking down at the carpet of rolling green pasture dotted with sheep and cattle, then the hobbit holes and laneways of the picturesque little village unfold below you. It's the perfect way to discover the magic of Hobbiton.

Aerius Helicopters will fly you to the Hobbiton Movie Set as one of the many extraordinary experiences they offer. Leaving from Tauranga, it's a convenient half-day trip and you get to enjoy spectacular mountain and forest views on the way.

Hobbiton movie set tour

From the moment we land, you'll be blown away by the attention to detail on the Hobbiton set, from the brightly painted doors, carved letterboxes and garden tools to the old oak Party Tree standing in the Party Field. It's all there. Sandyman's Mill stands on the edge of the pond near the double arched bridge and you must visit Bag End, home to the heroic yet humble Baggins family.

Be sure to partake of a hobbit brew at the Green Dragon Inn before you leave. Carefully recreated, it's the perfect spot to relax by the fire, drink in hand and soak up the Hobbiton atmosphere.

The guides are really well informed with all the movie trivia a fan could want so together with the beautiful setting, it's no wonder Hobbiton remains one of our most popular, must-see attractions. Contact us at Aerius Helucopters any time for more Hobbiton movie set tour information.


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Aerius Helicopters is excited to announce that we have now secured landing rights for land based tours to White Island from Tauranga! If you would like to explore this fascinating active volcano, get in touch with us today!


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This morning we had to lay four runs of orchard shelter cloth. Each run was 260 meters in length and had to be lifted straight up before it was lowered into place across the orchard. As you can see from the photos its a long way up and you can see the effect the wind has on the cloth. We were told to lay these four rows by hand would normally take them 2-3 days, using the helicopter it took less than an hour.



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In early March Aerius Helicopters were involved with the filming of local movie, The Z Nail Gang.

Based on the mining protests in the Coromandel in the 1980s, the movie trailer can be viewed below.


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