What Makes Backcountry Heli-Fishing the Ultimate Adventure?

What Makes Backcountry Heli-Fishing the Ultimate Adventure?

What could be more thrilling than reeling in a massive fish after an arduous hike into the backcountry? For many anglers, heli-fishing is the ultimate adventure. By whisking you to some of the most remote and inaccessible fishing spots in New Zealand, heli-fishing allows you to cast your line into pristine waters teeming with trophy fish.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or just getting started, heli-fishing is definitely an activity for the thrill and adventure seekers out there. 

But what is it exactly? 


What is heli-fishing and how is it different from regular fishing trips

Heli-fishing is backcountry helicopter fishing, where backcountry helicopters are used to fly anglers into remote locations for fishing.

The helicopters allow the angler (or hunters) to be dropped in backcountry locations (that would never be accessible by other means) to find fish like the big brown and rainbow trout, and coastal game fish like snapper and tarakihi. 

This type of backcountry fishing gives angler’s freedom not experienced in regular fishing trips —you choose when you go, who to go with, what time of day or night, and how long for. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind experience that’s unique in and of itself. 

Backcountry fishing is what backcountry helicopter fishing charters in Christchurch specialise in, and is the ultimate adventure for those looking for something different to try. 


How the pristine, untouched landscape makes heli-fishing so special

Heli-fishing is the best fishing trip you can experience, especially in an environment as diverse as New Zealand. Going on a heli-fishing adventure offers ultimate freedom. You can explore all the nooks and crannies of New Zealand’s mountain ranges, see more of nature, and fish in untouched rivers and streams.

The wild nature of these remote areas makes for a unique adrenaline rush, and travelling to your destination is equally an amazing experience. You’ll enjoy basking in the beautiful scenery, surrounded by native flora and fauna—making you feel that you are miles away from the city, and off to a different world. While it may be scary for some, especially since you’re travelling on uncharted territory, don’t worry, your guides know these parts like the backs of their hands. They’ll know where to find the best fishing spots and how to get there.

If you’re an avid angler who loves to travel to new places and try new experiences, backcountry heli-fishing should be right up there at the top of your list. From the moment you land on a backcountry riverbank and start hiking into virgin backcountry – it’s an unparalleled adventure.

Backcountry heli-fishing involves travelling in a small team – typically just three to five people – and having one of the best guides on the planet as your leader. You’ll make new friends as well, with backcountry fishing guides being among some of the best people you’ll ever meet.


Essentials to bring for your heli-fishing adventure

Before you fly out, make sure to pack your backpack with the following items:


Pilots will keep a close eye on weather forecasts, and if the forecast deteriorates during your trip, they may decide to return early. You should always have a backup plan in case you need to make a quick escape. That’s why you must carry a means of communication such as GPS to text for help if needed.

Emergency First Aid Kit 

It’s no fun being stuck alone in rugged backcountry terrain with severe injuries —that could spell death unless you have an emergency first aid kit with you to help yourself or others out of trouble. In addition, all backcountry helicopter trips require hunters and anglers alike to wear a backcountry lifejacket during takeoff and landing to ensure that you are ready if the helicopter has to perform an emergency landing on water.

Insect repellent

Backcountry helicopter trips in the backcountry involve a lot of bush and forest, teeming with all kinds of insects such as mosquitos and many more. You will not enjoy your trip if you get attacked or bitten by these insects. So, best keep an insect repellent on hand. 


Helicopters may fly low and spend time over lakes, rivers, and oceans, so make sure you protect your skin from the harsh high alpine sun with lots of sunscreens, sunglasses, and a hat!

Waterproof Jacket

Heli-fishing trips take place all year round, but some regions experience more rain than others at different times of the year. It’s always best to be prepared for extreme conditions and pack something waterproof just in case it rains on your backcountry trip.

Warm Clothing

Backcountry helicopters can land hikers or hunters on mountain tops or backcountry backpacking trails where the average temperature is -5 degrees celsius, but it can drop down to -20 degrees or lower. Make sure you wear lots of layers that can be removed easily when you get hot and put back on if you get cold again.

Food supplies 

Backcountry backpacking trips may last anywhere between 1 night to several days, so pack food accordingly. If you are unsure about what’s required, ask your backcountry helicopter pilot when booking your trip.

Clean clothes for when your backcountry backpacking trip is over! 

Backcountry backpacking trips are often hard work, and you’ll be relieved to get back to civilisation after a week or two. You can’t wear the same dirty clothes day in, day out on backcountry backpacking tours without washing them, so make sure you pack clean clothes to change into when you get back home. 


The best time of year to go heli-fishing in New Zealand and what to expect on your backcountry fishing trip


Heli-fishing is best enjoyed in the backcountry of New Zealand during summer, between late November and April. Using helicopters means that backcountry waters are not crowded. Very few people have the chance to experience this level of fishing, and catch fish not readily available commercially. 

On your backcountry fishing trip, you can expect the chance to catch some trophy fish backcountry style. Expect elements of hunting along with backpacking gear through dense forest or along riverbanks laden with obstacles. You’ll be walking miles each day on this kind of terrain, so you must not overload yourself.

Keep a lookout for the chance at bagging game alongside your desired catch, since backcountry hunts thrive in this environment. So, you may have an opportunity to shoot a deer alongside taking a trophy fish back to base.



If you want to experience the ultimate adventure, book a backcountry heli-fishing trip with Christchurch Helicopters. You can fly for miles into remote areas of New Zealand where no one else has ever set foot before, hunt your own trophy animals on land or water (or both), then come home with an amazing story to tell.

You don’t need to know how to fly one in order for this trip to work out well. Our team of experienced pilots is always happy to create new memories with groups like yours, so give us a call today. Come stalk big game on land or sea while taking in some breathtaking scenery from up high!

We also have some great suggestions if you are looking for an awesome gift idea – give your loved ones a flight over beautiful Canterbury plains as they hunt deer or trout before landing on a remote mountain lake. Your family members will love the gift of a new experience, so long as they don’t mind getting their hands (and feet) dirty!

If you want to book a trip with one of the Fishing Charters in Christchurch or know more information on how we can help your group plan their next hunting or fishing expedition in NZ, please do not hesitate to contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you and giving you the gift of adventure.