Helli Vacation

Jean-Michel Jefferson heads Ahipara Luxury Travel, offering personalised helicopter tours of New Zealand, custom-fitted to a ‘”clients’ interests, tastes, and aspirations.” The tours typically start at the Cavalli Island Retreat and Spa, in the Bay of Islands. After a couple days “enjoying treatments in the spa, cruising on the property’s 72-foot motor yacht, and playing golf at the nearby Kauri Cliffs resort,” the luxury treatment really begins. The operation certainly walks the walk here, arranging private trips on America’s Cup Yachts with America’s Cup sailors, waka invasions of beaches, Maori spiritual healing sessions, or even mock ambushes by Maori warriors along a deserted bush track. More generic offerings include heli-hiking on the South Island accompanied by personal guide Lydia Bradey (the first women to summit Everest without oxygen), or a tour with Grant Taylor’s exclusive new vineyard, courtesy of Grant Taylor, founder of Gibbston Valley Wines outside of Queenstown. Jefferson’s tours live up to their $100,000 price tag, with clients walking away all smiles. “We use the beauty in New Zealand to de-stress our clients and most people tell us it was their best trip ever,” he says.

Tags: Ahipara Luxury Travel  Jean-Michel Jefferson  Robb Report (The)