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Category: Round the World

Round the World – New Zealand Days 36 to 38

Round the World – New Zealand Days 36 to 38

I returned my rental car at opening time the next day, and took an Uber to Warbirds. With a few more days in New Zealand than expected, due to travel restriction caused by the COVID-19 virus, I had decided to use the opportunity to visit the Chatham Islands. This small, remote archipelago of islands lies 500 miles off the east coast of New Zealand, and is politically a part of New Zealand itself. The first settlers were the Moriori people,…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 39 to 42

Round the World – New Zealand Days 39 to 42

The following day dawned with much lower winds. It looked good for a flight to Pitt Island, before heading back to the mainland. After breakfast Greg provided a lift out to the airport, I met up again with Dylan the 206 pilot. He helped with pulling the 182 out of the hangar, and offered up use of the Air Chathams computer to file the flight plan. The Convair was parked up on the ramp, having cargo loaded before its flight…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 31 to 35

Round the World – New Zealand Days 31 to 35

The next couple of weeks were to prove a strange time. I was supposed to be returning to work, but the COVID-19 travel restrictions were starting to bite, and travel to my work place had just been stopped. Over the next few days, I spent a while with Planey at Warbirds, doing a thorough empty and organise of the interior. I was able to identify quite a quantity of items that would no longer be needed, and pack them up…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 28 to 30

Round the World – New Zealand Days 28 to 30

Dad collected me in the morning, and drove me back out to the airstrip. There was a low overcast hanging over the whole area; we were very glad that we’d taken our scenic flight the day before, instead of the original plan of doing it this morning. I took off to the north, and started retracing my steps towards Ardmore; my first stop, however, would be Hamilton for some fuel. I snuck along below the cloud, keeping well clear of…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 26 and 27

Round the World – New Zealand Days 26 and 27

Our lovely hosts at the AirBNB gave us a lift to the airfield, together with their teenage daughter. Their daughter was fairly interested in aviation, and had been gliding fairly often until a wing separated from the glider one day and she miraculously survived the crash, spiraling down 1,500ft with one wing like a sycamore seed and walking away with only minor injuries. She’d been taking a bit of a break from flying since then, which was entirely understandable! She…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 24 and 25

Round the World – New Zealand Days 24 and 25

It was a pleasure to wake up and not need to be heading to the airport for another flight. The flying is always enjoyable, but a day off every now and then always helps to manage the fatigue and keep the pace sensible. We had a relaxed breakfast with the Drakes, before relocating the aircraft around the side of the house to the tie-downs; the wind direction had shifted, and Bruce had warned us that wind strength could increase without…

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Round the World – New Zealand Day 23

Round the World – New Zealand Day 23

It was going to be a very long day of flying; we’d decided to condense two days into one, so that we could later spend 2 nights in Christchurch rather than moving on every day. After an excellent breakfast prepared by Noel, we caught a taxi to the airport and headed out from Invercargill. Our first course was south, towards Stewart Island and the most southerly stop of the entire round-the-world trip. Having come this far south, I couldn’t resist…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 21 and 22

Round the World – New Zealand Days 21 and 22

We had to be in Manapouri for 9am, so it was a fairly early start in Queenstown to catch a taxi to the airport. Elsa very helpfully went down to breakfast and collected food for me, so I could sleep a little longer! We had to wait a while to get someone to open the security gate, but once we did it didn’t take us long to load up the aircraft, pre-flight, and get on our way. There was a…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 19 and 20

Round the World – New Zealand Days 19 and 20

We woke up in Hokitika to greatly improved weather. The ground team dropped Elsa and I in the town center to have breakfast and kill some time while they drove down towards Franz Josef Glacier. We lingered over bacon sandwiches and an absurdly large slice of chocolate cake, and were about to start a leisurely walk to the airport when the rain began. We waited for a while, but things didn’t improve, and the temperature had dropped ten degrees as…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 17 and 18

Round the World – New Zealand Days 17 and 18

My dad and my aunt left Takaka a couple of hours before us. We’d be meeting up again that evening, and their journey was going to take them significantly longer than ours would. Elsa and I took a walk up and down the main street, grazing on a selection of croissants and Thai beef curry for breakfast. Takaka is clearly a very trendy town, as evidenced by the number of people wandering around with no shoes and dreadlocks. The highlight…

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