What It’s Like To Experience A Helicopter Ride In Sydney!

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Taking a helicopter ride over Sydney is a unique and thrilling experience that will leave long-lasting memories.

Not only do you get to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, but the ride itself is a thrilling adventure that is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you’re thinking of taking a helicopter ride in Sydney but you’re not sure what it’s like, here’s what we thought of the experience!

Is A Helicopter Ride in Sydney Worth It?

We’ve experienced Sydney in so many ways: walking across its bridges and around the foreshore, going on harbour cruises, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, taking ferry rides, and kayaking middle harbour.

But never before from the air.

overview of a harbour

We’ve seen the aerial photography and the video footage and every time been blown away with just how beautiful Sydney Harbour really is. I never really ever considered that I would one day have the opportunity to fly by the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a scenic helicopter ride.

Not only do you get to see Sydney from above, looking down on places like the Sydney CBD, Taronga Zoo, Manly Beach and Coogee Beach and their surroundings, but you also get an informative commentary of the sites, allowing you to learn about the history and culture as well as see incredible views.

Helicopter flights Sydney are a once in a lifetime opportunity for many travelers, but it’s definitely worth it. There is no better view, than a bird’s eye view.

Our Experience Of A Sydney Helicopter Tour

a helicopter

I was nervous when the opportunity came for us to experience Sydney by air.

Helicopter flights have always been on my list of things I‘d never do. I don’t know why. I think because of out of the thousands that fly every day I had remembered the few that crash every year.

Funny how our mind works and as our knowledgeable pilot, Guy, reassured me during pre-departure checks that helicopter flying is safer than being on the ground – much like flying in a plane.

I had a feeling that being up in a helicopter would be like that of our hot air balloon ride. Beforehand I was nervous and scared, but as soon as I floated up I felt strangely peaceful, safe and relaxed.

man looking out of a helicopter window

I was right.

Guy warned me that during take-off he would skim along the ground nose pointing down. I was sitting up the front and thought I would freak out, but as soon as the chopper went up and we dipped I felt like I was on a fun roller coaster ride.

I felt that strange calm envelope me and I never once thought about it possibly being dangerous again, even when the chopper dipped and shook in the breeze.

Coasting above Sydney Harbour was surreal and one of the best experiences I have had in Sydney.

overlooking bondi beach from helicopter
The world-famous Bondi Beach

While I was up there gazing in wonder at the beauty of Sydney, a beauty I thought I had already seen a million times over, I thought of the Sydney Bridge Climb in comparison to this private flight.

I would recommend the Sydney helicopter flights over the climb as a far more enjoyable experience, with coastal views that couldn’t be topped any other way. Even though it was much shorter at only 20 mins it had a much more impactful wow factor.

I felt as if we were in a giant bubble floating over the most secret wondrous place on earth.

coastline of sydney with houses on it viewed from above
Eastern suburbs coastline

I never realized the water of the Pacific Ocean so crystal clear and blue.

We ran along close to the cliff faces of Dover Heights and Vaucluse, around Watson’s and Rose Bay, over Sydney Harbour islands that looked like they belonged way out in the exotic Pacific Islands area.

And then came the highlight, we dipped and turned towards the city skyline, and flew over the Sydney Opera House and past the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, two of the world’s most iconic structures.

WOW!! What a delight to the senses!

overview of an island
Watson’s Bay
aerial of sydney harbour, opera house and tall buildings
sydney harbour bridge and opera house form the air
an island from above

I can now without a doubt say that Sydney Harbour is the most beautiful in the world and Sydney would be a city that has to sit very high up as one of the greatest, for stunning factor at least.

Our flight was over so quickly. Before we knew it we were bumping with the wind over the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia’s iconic sports field, and back to Mascot Airport.

I would happily ride in a helicopter again.

caz and craig in front of helicopter

After the Helicopter Ride

We were on the luxury helicopter flight with Red Balloon, a site that is dedicated to gifting those you love with special experiences like learning to fly, or sunrise hot air balloon rides.

After announcing that Craig and I were bringing back monthly date nights a few weeks ago the opportunity to experience something with Red Balloon came up co-incidentally. With cheekiness, I claimed it as the first date I was responsible for organizing.

With Father’s Day coming up it was also the perfect Father’s Day present for Craig. Aren’t I just so romantic and clever??

The date did not end with the helicopter flight.

Sydney Harbour island
Sydney Harbour island

Part of the RedBalloon experience was to follow the flight with gourmet lunch at one of Bondi Beach’s most famous restaurants: Icebergs.

Now you may think you need to have a small loan to eat here, and if you want to eat in the top restaurant you might. You certainly need an inflated ego.

Downstairs, however is the bistro, where you will find really great prices with the same view as upstairs, but with friendly service instead. (Trust me, we were treated appallingly by the receptionist staff upstairs despite the fact that we “arrived” by “helicopter!”)

boats on sydney harbour with view of opera house and harbour bridge

It was a beautiful warm Sydney winter’s day and our views out to Bondi were spectacular.

We had a lovely lunch of mussels, barramundi and Thai green curry washed down with wine.

I could not have organized a better date and from now on should be referred to as the whale whisperer.

Half way through my riveting conversation with Craig a whale breached out of the water right in front of us. Craig wondered what had happened to shut me up mid-sentence. I don’t think I could speak much after that.

The whale continued breaching, back flipping and playing before us.

What an amazing day! If you have time after lunch do the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk – it’s one of my favorite things to do in Sydney

beer and wine on table with view of bondi beach
Drink with a view
people sitting at tables on a balcony
mussels at Icebergs
Thai green curry
craig with beer at table with view
A happy father and husband

FAQs About Helicopter Flights in Sydney

How much does a helicopter ride cost in Sydney?

This experience is not cheap, and prices usually start at around $240 AUS per person and go up from there.

How long are the helicopter flights in Sydney?

Scenic helicopter tours usually last for around 20 minutes, but don’t worry, it’s plenty of time to see everything!

How many passengers can take a helicopter tour of Sydney?

Most helicopter flights can carry up to six passengers, along with the expert pilot.

What is the best time of day to do a helicopter flight?

The best time of day to do a helicopter flight is at midday when the skies are bright and sunny. However, a sunset flight would also be beautiful as the sun turns the city into shades of orange and pinks, before twilight sets in.

Final Thoughts

Our Red Balloon Experience gave us not just a memorable time together, but an extraordinary insight into one of the world’s most beautiful cities. I can’t think of better ways to see Sydney.

If you’re ever looking for fun date ideas in Sydney, then a private helicopter flight is certainly a special activity, though you may want to save it for a milestone anniversary!

Despite the cost, we LOVED it! Check out the best price on helicopter flights in Sydney here!

Disclosure: Thanks to the team at Digital Parents Collective for inviting me to be a part of the Red Balloon Experience Program. Although we were hosted on this trip, all thoughts, ideas and opinions in this guide are our own.

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