Visitor arrivals highest since pandemic began

29 September 2022

Visitors to Christchurch and locals looking for something special can now leave the car behind and fly across Banks Peninsula to the beautiful town of Akaroa in the comfort of a luxury Helicopter for a new Heli Gin experience.

Group Marketing manager for the GCH Aviation Group, Caroline Blanchfield says the Akaroa Craft Distillery is a new driver of visitors to Akaroa. "We see it as another new luxury helicopter day experience from Christchurch adding to the proposition of Christchurch as a stay and play visitor destination. 

"We love the story of Akaroa Craft Distillery who have incorporated the story of Whangaroa. Hakaroa. Akaroa the place, the land and the sea, the Gods and people and captured the essence of Akaroa in their local craft gin. There is a real genuineness in the company’s desire to enhance Akaroa as a destination. This trip will be a winner with domestic and international clients wanting to embrace a New Zealand hand-made product."

Akaroa Craft Distillery is incredibly thrilled to announce its partnership with GCH Aviation. "Being one of New Zealand’s fastest growing gin brands, it is with great pride the reach of our gin is further enhanced with one of New Zealand’s longest standing and well-respected aviation companies. We are excited to showcase our stunning and ever-growing range of New Zealand made gin and spirits to Garden City Helicopter’s local and international customers alike, in conjunction with introducing them to the beautiful part of Aotearoa that is Akaroa, Banks Peninsula."

The trip across Banks Peninsula to Akaroa by helicopter gives you a bird’s eye view of the magnificent topography of the Peninsula. You get a real sense of the size of the ancient volcanic area before arriving in Akaroa to learn more about the story of Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula through the gin experience.

The launch of Akaroa Craft Distillery’s first gin label, Hector’s, was named after the endangered Hectors Dolphins that call the harbour home. Akaroa Craft Distillery is proud to be giving back to the conservation of the Hector’s dolphins by donating a portion of the Hector’s Gin sales from their Tasting House to the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust.

The Tasting House has been lovingly restored to become a place that feels like home; somewhere relaxing and memorable for guests to sample a range of locally made gins and learn more about the distillery’s story and vision.

Collaboration continues to be the key in developing the helicopter experiences. GCH Aviation has worked closely with the team at Akaroa Craft Distillery to develop the Heli Gin experience with a focus on telling the story of place which is an important part of all the helicopter experiences.