Getting high on the Gold Coast: a birdseye view

When you live near the beach, you’re bound to be familiar with the flight paths of helicopters. There’s the life-saving chopper which buzzes up and down the coast on regular patrols, there’s the rescue / emergency choppers with spotlights blaring at odd hours of the day and night and the joyflight choppers which parade up and down the coast giving tourists a birdseye view of the coastline. It’s easy to be obsessed with helicopters when you live on the Gold Coast.

In the leadup to the Commonwealth Games I was lucky enough to jump on a tour with Seaworld Helicopters to get an aerial view of the coastline as well as the Games venues and new infrastructure being built. It wasn’t my first time in a helicopter, but it was my first time flying above the suburbs of the Gold Coast. A few months later, a commercial flight to Sydney took me over the southern edge of Mt Warning Wollumbin. I was flabbergasted. I’d never seen such a view before and the resulting, rather feminine photo went viral. As I said then, Mt Warning looks more vulvanic than volcanic.

Those two experiences catalysed an obsession with seeing the landscapes I live and play in from a new perspective. And so the hunt for the perfect helicopter tour (to celebrate my awesome auntie’s 70th birthday) commenced.

Enter ABC Heli and their Mt Warning Spectacular tour. Taking off from the company’s hangar at the Gold Coast airport, the 45 minute tour has you climbing to 4000 feet, cruising along the northern edge of Mt Warning Wollumbin, over the Tweed and Currumbin Valleys with spectacular views over farmlands, rainforest, the Gold Coast hinterland and the entire green caldera that frames the region geographically. From this height you get a real sense of scale as to the size that this mother of a volcano used to be. You can’t help but visualise its striking presence.

But the tour doesn’t stop there. With the pilot pointing out significant natural landmarks along the way, the helicopter then heads for the coastline where you get a low-flying birds eye view of Hastings Point and all of the other creeks, rivers and headlands between there and Coolangatta getting as low as 500ft over Point Danger and Snapper Rocks.Top of Form

The tour’s not cheap – it’s $395 per person, but it does run for more than 40 minutes and I can honestly say is worth every cent. We had to wait a month or so for the company to find other passengers to join us (as there’s a minimum of four people needed for the trip).

The team at ABC Heli are flexible, efficient and friendly and add great depth to this trip. If, like me, you’re a bit obsessed with getting high on the Gold Coast, you’ll absolutely adore this tour. Do it. You won’t regret it.

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