Aerius Helicopters. Teaming up with local Māori as their guides, Aerius Helicopters run trips to the volcanic island Tuhua (Mayor Island). Tuhua is particularly significant to Māori in part because of the obsidian—a volcanic glass prized for its strength and sharpness—found in great streaks throughout the island. The helicopter ride to the island is an event in itself, providing aerial views of the Tuhua's unusual landscape and colored lakes. (Flight cost $605 per person). Another stunning flight offered is to and over the very active volcanic White Island ($680), while several shorter scenic tours over the hills, coastline, and lakes of the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua regions are on offer. Flights leave from Tauranga Airport, and Kiwi 360 (just south of Te Puke on SH2). Jean Batten Dr., Tauranga Airport, Tauranga, Tauranga, 3116. 0800/864–354. www.aerius.co.nz.
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