The Hole Experience - Heli and Cultural Tour
For the first time in New Zealand’s history and exclusive to Salt Air in conjunction with the Motu Kōkako Ahu whenua Trust, we can now offer an unforgettable adventure to set foot on top of the iconic Hole in the Rock – Motu Kōkako.
Package OptionsThe adventure of the scenic flight, exciting landing on the Hole in the Rock and cultural aspects will combine to reward visitors with a thrilling and utterly unique New Zealand experience.
Choose from one of our 3 options to experience this unique adventure.
- Minimum of 2 passengers
- Departure times are booked on demand, subject to weather conditions
- Departure is from our Paihia helipad
- Option with the Maori Guide may not be available for short notice bookings
For many years visitors have come to the Bay of Islands to venture through this top New Zealand icon the Hole in the Rock on boats, we have flown them over it thousands of times, and it has been admired by many for its unique appearance and history.
Now, with the formal blessing of Motu Kokako Ahuwhenua Trust, you can experience it up close and on foot, landing by helicopter on our exclusive helipad on top of the island. Visitors have the option to land on the island with a brief stop on the viewing platform or be hosted on the island by a local Maori Guide, who will share the islands’ unique history and its cultural and ecological significance.
Very few people in history, including Maori, have ever ventured on the island in this way before. Being surrounded by steep cliffs (over 150 metres high) and stunning scenery looking towards Cape Brett and its surrounds, this unique landing location will no doubt appeal to the adventurous.
This year we did the Hole in the Rock. Unique is a word that gets over used, but this tour is truly unique. To be only the 56th and 57th people of European descent to set foot on a site that was central in the Maori warrior culture for 700 years is almost a spiritual experience, but when you add to that, that you stand on top of a sheer rockface 500 feet above the Paciifc Ocean, with the most beautiful scenery you can imagine, it becomes otherworldly.
Grant runs a truly world class company and provides considerate, caring, customer service and as much fun as you can have anywhere. If you do nothing else in New Zealand, you must do this! Jeff and Suzanne, Vancouver, Canada.
History of Motu Kōkako
“Motu Kōkako” is the Maori name for the motu / island, the origin of which is said to have eventuated in ancient times and literally translated means Kokako Island. The Kokako is a bird that once inhabited the motu, whose feathers were valued by Ngapuhi. Historically, young male warriors would journey to Motu Kōkako and climb its steep cliffs to gather Kokako feathers for their Korowai (feathered cloak). The motu has also been known as Piercy Island, a name given by Captain James Cook.
Bio-diversity of Motu Kōkako
Although small, in terms of conservation it is probably the most important island in the Bay of Islands’ (Taylor et Al 1991), University of Auckland Botany Dept. The unique bio-diversity of the island is apparent with over 90 species of vascular plants, no predators and the island being ‘naturally’ pest-free.