The rugged West Coast is hemmed in between the Tasman Sea and the imposing Southern Alps, making for spectacular contrasts in the surrounding scenery. The landscape changes from the wild beaches of the Tasman Sea and the lush native rainforests, to the harsh but beautiful forms of the mighty glaciers marked with ice caves, pinnacles and seracs. Above these glaciers rise the soaring peaks of the Southern Alps with Aoraki/Mount Cook towering above the rest. A scenic flight is the ideal way to explore this largely inaccessible alpine region. For the adventurous, The Helicopter Line offers the unique opportunity to get up close to the glaciers on the famous Franz Josef Heli Hike.