Winery & Waterfall Tour
- $490 pp
- 45 minutes
Fly from Wollongong to Crooked River Winery and Restaurant. A coastal scenic flight one way and rugged mountain terrain, majestic waterfalls, ominous gorges and dramatic rocky cliff faces on the way back.
- From Kiama to Gerringong and then Crooked River Winery for lunch.
- Return from Crooked River Winery via the mountains, waterfalls and gorges of the Great Dividing Range
- A packed 45 minute flying schedule of spectacular mountain and ocean views
- Experience the unique thrill of a helicopter take-off and landing
- Only minutes flying time from base to the golden beaches and rugged mountains of the Illawarra
- Kiama Blowhole
- Crooked River Winery
- Kangaroo Valley
- Gerringong Falls
- Carrington Falls
- Macquarie Pass
Our outbound route toward the renowned Crooked River Winery working vineyard and restaurant is via the scenic coastline of the Illawarra’s south coast. We’ll join the coastline at Kiama where you’ll have a birds-eye view of the famous blowhole and fishing harbour. The coastline south of Kiama, as we track towards Gerringong, is as spectacular as it is dramatic. Having seen the meandering, rolling, Kiama to Gerringong walking track from the air, you’ll want to make that the next item you tick off your bucket list. The architectural masterpieces built as homes in some of the hill and valleys just off the coast are a sight to behold and a dream residence for most.
Leaving the coastline behind we head for your lunch venue, Crooked River Wines. Crooked River’s commercial winery was completed in 2001. The winery boasts 280,000 litres of stainless steel fermentation and storage tanks and 70,000 litres of oak barrels. In 20 years of production, Crooked River Wines has won multiple awards for its premium quality red and white wines. Crooked River Wines is the largest vineyard on the NSW South Coast.
A spectacular setting with views overlooking the vineyard, Crooked River Restaurant is also the perfect location for lunch. And with such an extensive menu there are sumptuous options for everybody no matter your taste. I can also guarantee that you’ll find just the right red or white to complement your meal as well.
After a couple of hours for lunch, wine tasting, contemplation and a relaxing walk around the grounds, it is time to head home. But the adventure is not quite over yet. You’ve seen the coast now to capture a brief look at the dramatic canyons, gorges and waterfalls of the Illawarra Escarpment.
As the helicopter departs towards the mountains, leaving Crooked River behind, you will be able to catch glimpses over the cliff tops of the distant Kangaroo Valley. To the north, the whole of the Illawarra is laid out before you with Lake Illawarra at its centre. Strain your eyes some more and you might just be able to make out the distant jagged skyline of Sydney over a 100 km’s away. As the cliff edges of the ranges come tantalisingly close, some of the most beautiful lush, green, countryside Australia has to offer, is passing underneath. The foothills are home to sub-tropical rainforest containing Australian Red Cedar, Camphorwood, Yellow Ash, Deciduous Fig and Illawarra Plum. Keep any eye out for homes tucked underneath the daunting cliff faces.
As we follow the Upper Kangaroo Valley River, the valley closes in and terminates at Carrington Falls. A popular tourist spot, well known not only for the twin streams that tumble over it precipice to make Carrington Falls, but also for the swimming lagoons a couple of hundred meters upstream. The Blue Pool particularly, is very popular in the summer months for locals wanting to cool off. The creek changes levels at this point creating a 5 meter high waterfall which is perfect to stand under on a hot day. From the air, Carrington Falls is formidable. The top is about 550 meters above sea level and the pool at the base is 160m below. The dramatic chasm the falls has created is very narrow with sheer cliff walls on either side. Whether standing on the ground at the lookout overlooking the falls or sitting in your helicopter seat, looking down from the air you’ll be impressed by one of natures marvels.
From Carrington Falls we start to meander back towards base taking a diversion over Macquarie Pass National Park. The pass itself is one of the few traffic routes connecting inland NSW to the Illawarra. It is believed the pass was created based on an old traditional tribal path used by the local Wodi Wodi aborigines. The mountain pass cuts through ancient rainforest and in many locations, after seasonal rainfalls, the waterfalls and flowing creeks consume the mountain pass making it very hard and dangerous to drive through. All part of the fun for life in the Illawarra.
As you fly overhead the national park, just about visible amongst the rainforest, the eucalyptus trees, the kapoks and the strangler figs is the tumbling Macquarie Rivulet. There are some glorious waterholes found here which have been carved into the sandstone by the waterfalls over hundreds and thousands of years. Not that well known, even amongst the locals, the area is becoming increasingly popular due to the canyoning tours which occasionally swim, float and jump their way down the pools, chasms and waterfalls.
As we track homeward bound and back over the Illawarra Escarpment, keep a lookout for the tree top walking platform and viewing tower of the Illawarra Fly. Give a wave to the tourists as you fly over the mountain ridgeline and down into the Illawarra coastal plains. This is an ideal time to look up and take in the full majesty of the Illawarra Region, a land caught between the mountains and the sea.
Headsets are available for all passengers inside the helicopter so that they can talk to eachother and share the experience while flying.
Feel free to engage your friendly pilot for his informed narrative and commentary
Customers should allow up to 4 hours in total for the whole experience including check-in, safety briefing, photo opportunity around the helicopters, boarding, flight time, lunch and then disembarking after the return flight.
Free tea and coffee facilities as well as a comfortable viewing lounge overlooking the helipad is available for all passengers as well as for family and friends spectating on the ground
Safety is paramount. All safety processes and procedures as required by Touchdown Helicopters and the governments Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) are strictly adhered to in all aspects of conducting this scenic flight.
Please Note: Lunch and wine tasting not included in the price of this package.