Browsed by
Category: Round the World

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 6

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 6

It had been a great pleasure to see more of New Zealand from the air; but, you miss a lot when travelling by aircraft as it’s not practical to just pull over and stop! The complete lack of tourists (caused by New Zealand’s borders being slammed shut) meant that the cost of car and camper van rental was at an all time low, so I acquired a small camper van for a few weeks in order to explore some of…

Read More Read More

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 5

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 5

There are a few small airports in the Nelson region which I had not previously visited; and some which I had, but were worth a return visit. The first new airport was Motueka, just up the coast from Nelson and home to a busy flight training center, an aero club, and plenty of private owners. Apparently the field had become busier since the latest managers of Nelson airport started to introduce policies and inflated fees that seemed designed to drive…

Read More Read More

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 4

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 4

I had to head back to Auckland to finalise some paperwork for the aircraft. This was a bit inconvenient, but at least New Zealand is not too huge a country to fly the length of, and the trip could be completed in just a few hours. I took an “Uber” out to Air Milford, where I chatted for a while with Ant and the others about the current weather conditions. It was blowing hard from the west, condition which cause…

Read More Read More

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 3

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 3

My next destination was to be the city of Queenstown. New Zealand’s main city, Auckland, was currently under a travel ban, and I was therefore expecting Queenstown to be fairly quiet; my suspicions turned out to be correct. I still had plenty of fuel on board after my flight down from the North Island, so I set straight off from Nelson, on a direct track to Queenstown. The terrain south of Nelson rapidly becomes mountainous. On this morning, there was…

Read More Read More

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 2

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 2

A few days later, it was time to head out of Auckland towards New Zealand’s South Island. First, though, I’d spend a few nights with a friend in Rotorua, as well as visiting the “Hobbiton” filming location from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. The good weather was back, and the sun beat down on me as I pulled Planey out of the hangar and closed the doors behind us. Even late winter in North Island New Zealand…

Read More Read More

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 1

Round the World – New Zealand 2, Part 1

It felt very strange to be standing on the street in Auckland, not wearing a mask, free to go on with my day. I jumped on a bus back out to the international airport to go and collect my rental car; given the lack of tourists, some truly excellent deals had been available. Half way to the airport, the bus broke down. Things were off to a typical 2020 start. After collecting my car, I headed straight to the airport….

Read More Read More

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,…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More