Aviation Flying high above WA for ultimate indulgence

Rottnest is pretty as a picture from the sky.
Photo of Geoffrey Thomas

Helicopter tours provide a Hollywood day out for winery tours, golf trips and more.

Is this the ultimate indulgence? Chauffeur pick-up, champagne on arrival at Jandakot, helicopter ride to Margaret River for wine-tasting and lunch followed by a sightseeing spin over Rottnest Island and the city of Perth.

“We will give you a Hollywood day,” says Luke Wyllie, owner of Jandakot-based Corsaire Aviation, which is focusing on the premium tourist market.

Corsaire operates a specialised fleet of helicopters and aircraft from its purpose-built Jandakot headquarters and offers charters throughout WA and further afield. 

The helicopter fleet comprises four machines, including high-performance Eurocopter EC1304 and EC120 aircraft equipped for offshore flying.

In fixed-wing planes, Corsaire has the highest-specification Cessna 441 Conquest II in WA and a Cessna 210R Centurion. And it has pilots with extensive experience in mining and survey work, aerial photography, tourism and corporate charters.

The tourism packages from Perth include Margaret River winery tours, helicopter golf-and-lunching, heli-fishing, free-diving and ecotours to destinations such as the Abrolhos Islands, Dirk Hartog Island, the Coral Coast and the Kimberley.

The Margaret River wine experience starts with a chauffeur transfer to Jandakot, where a champagne breakfast awaits in the corporate lounge. After a safety briefing and discussion about what guests are going to see, it’s off to the first winery for wine-tasting in the EC130B4.

According to Wyllie, this is no ordinary helicopter — it’s the top end with “leather seating, air-conditioning and Bose noise-cancelling headsets”.

Corsaire chief pilot Trent Clayton says the aviators fly at an altitude of about 400m, giving good views of the coast and towns. “We often see whales and dolphins on the trip,” he says.

At the first winery visit, typically Vasse Felix, guests are greeted by staff for a private tour and tasting. 

After a flight over wineries and vineyards, there’s lunch at Aravina Estate. On arrival, staff will show guests around the property, including the private vintage car collection, before a three-course lunch accompanied by wines.

After lunch, the tour flies on to a third location of the guests’ choice for afternoon drinks before a low-level scenic flight back up the coast — for example calling at Rottnest Island. 

“We give clients the choice of three locations and let them tailor the experience,” Mr Clayton says. Other popular lunch and tasting destinations that have helicopter pads include Amelia Park, Leeuwin Estate, Xanadu Wines, Watershed Premium Wines, Voyager Estate, Brookland Valley, Sandalford Wines, Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery and Colonial Brewing Company.

After arriving back at Jandakot, there’s a chauffeur to take guests home.

The price, based on six people, is $1495 per person for the full day, from 10am to 5pm, not including the chauffeur transfers.

Another option is to fly to Leeuwin Estate for lunch in a twin-turboprop aircraft, with wine-tasting, a self-guided tour of the art gallery and a three-course lunch. The cost is $495 each, based on eight passengers.

The Heli Golf tour is a short flight from Jandakot to Araluen Golf Resort, nine holes and a helicopter ride over the hills to Millbrook Winery for lunch. It costs from $995 per person

Great scenery above Perth, Rottnest and the South West and a full day of fun make a terrific combination. Duration: 04m 35s Seven West Travel Club

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