• About Us


About

The essence of what we do is focused on quality, passion and experience, and we’re proud to have provided helicopter services in the Fiordland region for more than 30 years. Based in Te Anau, we’re owned and operated by Sir Richard and Lady Carol Hayes – Richard has long been a pioneer in the Fiordland Aviation Industry. A highly skilled, long-time operator on venison recovery, he formed Southern Lakes Helicopters back in 1982. Following the success of the Fiordland operation, in 2000, Richard and Carol formed sister company Heliworks Helicopters. Based in Queenstown, Heliworks is also able to provide an extensive range of services for those wishing to fly from Queenstown.

Where we fly

About

Click map to see where we fly

With a variety of helicopters including BK117, Squirrel and R44, we offer many professional helicopter services ranging from scenic flights, high altitude and industrial helicopter operations and individually tailored hunting and fishing adventures.

Our Mission

We aim to give you “A ‘high’ time, with highly experienced pilots, and a high safety record”.

Support Crews

We’re able to recommend locally based, specialist personnel to assist in all areas of support. Be it for your filming operation or technical advice or equipment for a commercial operation, you can trust us to source a competent compliment to your team.

Hangar Facilities

We have hangar facilities available for overnight storage of rigged aircraft and for film and other sensitive equipment.

Our Staff

  • Sir Richard 'Hannibal' HayesDirector, CEO & Chief Pilot - 32,400 flight hours

    Sir Richard is a well known and respected pilot with 40 years of experience flying in the mountainous terrain of Fiordland, and has in excess of 28,000 helicopter flying hours. He operates with skill and professionalism and is heavily involved in Search and Rescue operations, often with the use of Night Vision Equipment. His skill and experience has been recognised nationally by being awarded the MNZM (Member of New Zealand Order of Merit) for his services to Search and Rescue. Sir Richard and Lady Carol Hayes also own and operate Heliworks, based at Queenstown airport.

  • Lloyd MathesonOperations Manager

    Working closely with Richard Hayes, Lloyd handles the operational side of the business , and provides invaluable ground support when required. A former police sergeant with more than 25 years experience in Fiordland Search and Rescue, Lloyd is our first choice winch operator - a crucial role in rescues where conditions do not allow the helicopter to land.

  • Andrew (Heff) HeffordPilot - 6100 flight hours

    Andrew grew up in Te Anau and has been flying around Fiordland in between overseas tours for 10+ years. Has gained valuable experience in a broad range of operations both here and overseas. He enjoys spending time with his family, boating and hunting.

  • Sean (Snow) MullallyPilot - 10,600 flight hours

    Snow joined the team in 2015 after many years flying in Milford Sound. Snow has over 20 years flying experience in the Fiordland area, and also flew commercially in Canada for a year which included fire fighting.

  • Sam InnesPilot - 5,700 flight hours

    Sam has extensive flying experience and an impressive range of technical skills and specialist knowledge. He loves the Fiordland area and enjoys hunting and diving in his free time.

  • Erin RobertsonOffice Manager

    Living on a lifestyle block in Te Anau with her husband, two children and 'Minnie' the Jack Russell, Erin is a true-blue Southlander. She joined the SLH team in 2006 and loves the mix of work SLH undertakes, including Medivac/SAR - every day is different!

  • Marleen WilsonOffice Team Member

    Originally from the Netherlands, Marleen arrived in New Zealand in 2007 - and loved it so much that she stayed! Living in Te Anau, Marleen dedicates most of her spare time to St John as an ambulance officer. In 2016 she completed her diploma in ambulance practice.

  • Ngaire LindsayOffice Team Member

    Ngaire recently celebrated 10 years with the SLH team, and comes from a farming background at Otautau. Ngaire loves all that Te Anau and Fiordland have to offer, especially in the summer months. She enjoys getting out on the lake in the boat fishing & water skiing.

  • Lena CahillOffice Team Member

    Perched on the edge of Lake Te Anau looking out to the mountains, Lena thinks the SLH office has got to be one of the most beautiful places to work in the country! One of her favourite parts of the job (when she's not admiring the view) is seeing the reaction of our customers when they return from their scenic flight. Lena lives on a sheep farm with her partner and two children.

Our Fleet

  • ZK-IMX Kawasaki BK-117 (Twin Engine)

    Passengers: up to 9
    Fuel: 300L per hour
    Heli weight all up: 3350kgs
    Cruise speed; 235km/hr
    Max speed:  280km/ph
    Engines:  Arriel 1E2

  • ZK-IRM  B3 Type Squirrel

    Passengers: 5-6 passengers
    Fuel: 200L per hour
    Heli weight all up: 2250kgs
    Cruise speed: 235km/hr
    Max Speed: 287km/ hr
    Engine: Arriel 2B 1

  • ZK-IDE  B3 Type Squirrel

    Passengers: 5-6 passengers
    Fuel: 200L per hour
    Heli weight all up: 2250kgs
    Cruise speed: 235km/hr
    Max Speed: 287km/ hr
    Engine: Arriel 2B 1

  • ZK-IBR  B3 Type Squirrel

    Passengers: 5-6 passengers
    Fuel: 200L per hour
    Heli weight all up: 2250kgs
    Cruise speed: 235km/hr
    Max Speed: 287km/ hr
    Engine: Arriel 2B 1

  • ZK-HMD  B2 Type Squirrel

    Passengers: 5-6 passengers
    Fuel: 180L per hour
    Heli weight all up: 2250kgs
    Cruise speed: 235km/hr
    Max Speed: 287km/ hr
    Engine: Arriel 1D 1

  • ZK-IFX  BA Type Squirrel

    Passengers: 5-6 passengers
    Heli weight all up: 2100kgs
    Cruise speed: 120 knots / 220km/hr
    Max Speed: 155 knots / 286km/h
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    Engine: Arriel 1B

  • ”Remote or local, you can trust us to get you in there


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