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Category: Round the World

Round the World – New Zealand Days 15 and 16

Round the World – New Zealand Days 15 and 16

We wanted to visit some attractions in Rotorua, so we left the Puka Park lodge fairly early and drove north to Whitianga airport. The DC3 had clearly had its engine repaired, as it was no longer on the field. We later learned that it was the one normally based in Ardmore, which had been stranded here after the engine issue. I left my landing fee in the honesty box, and we headed out south along the coast. Yet again, the…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 12 to 14

Round the World – New Zealand Days 12 to 14

In the morning I decided we should go back to the Aratiatia rapids, and watch from a different vantage point, given that it had been so impressive the first time around. We arrived just before the release, and Elsa told me to go on ahead to get a good spot at the vantage point. My legs are longer, after all. Unfortunately, she missed the turning to the viewing point I was at, so we watched the release separately and met…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 9 to 11

Round the World – New Zealand Days 9 to 11

My father would be in New Zealand for all the time that we were; and my aunt would be flying in from Australia to join us for most of the time too. We had worked out a combined road trip / flying trip schedule, where we’d follow a similar routing and meet up every couple of nights. Our first destination after Auckland would be the small town of Te Kuiti, close to the famous Waitomo glow worm caves. After a…

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Round the World – New Zealand Days 7 and 8

Round the World – New Zealand Days 7 and 8

A distinct lack of clarity on the New Zealand customs website meant that, while I had thought I could fly in to Kerikeri airport as an approved customs airport. However, it turned out that while it was approved as an airport of arrival by the MPI (bio-security), it was not by customs. Instead of flying into Kerikeri, then, I decided to head directly to Auckland International, and had contacted the Air Center One handling agents to organise my arrival. The…

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Round the World – New Zealand Day 6

Round the World – New Zealand Day 6

I had a great night’s sleep, and had also been given the use of the wifi for flight planning which was incredibly helpful. I was running half a day ahead of schedule now, so when Peter and Sharon offered to drive me around Lord Howe Island so I could see some of the sights, I jumped at the opportunity. I’d only been expecting to make a short fuel stop here originally, so getting to see the island was a real…

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Round the World – New Zealand Day 5

Round the World – New Zealand Day 5

I woke late, after the previous day’s long hours, looking forward to a relaxing Saturday. It was not to be, however. Checks of the latest weather updates revealed that from Sunday through Thursday, conditions were going to seriously deteriorate to the point that the planned Sunday departure was clearly not going to be possible. The choices were either depart that day, and fly as far as Lord Howe Island, or be stuck for nearly a week. I made my decision;…

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Round the World – New Zealand days 1 – 4

Round the World – New Zealand days 1 – 4

The commercial flight to Sydney was 17 hours long, but I was lucky enough to get a complete row to myself and arrived having slept comfortably most of the way. All the staff in the airport were wearing face masks, concerned about the coronovirus, and I was asked to confirm that I’d not been in China in the last 2 weeks. It didn’t take long before I was on the train north to Newcastle, and my aunt’s apartment. I collected…

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Round the World – Australia Days 12 and 13

Round the World – Australia Days 12 and 13

It turned out that the day did, in fact, end up being a “catastrophic fire danger” day. As a result, pretty much all of the visitor attractions on the island were closed. It wasn’t a big surprise; it was dry, and blisteringly hot. We had waited until mid-morning, to phone around and check the status of various attractions, so decided to head out for a drive along the island’s north coast which was supposed to be stunning. The Hertz representative…

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Round the World – Australia Days 10 and 11

Round the World – Australia Days 10 and 11

Coober Pedy was a lot of fun, but we had to leave before Rowan went native and ended up living in a hole in the ground. It was another early start, leaving the motel just after six in another of the manager’s rental cars. We stopped briefly at the Coober Pedy town sign for some photos, before heading out to the airport, loading, and refueling. We backtracked down the runway, and departed, with great views of the town off to…

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Round the World – Australia Days 8 and 9

Round the World – Australia Days 8 and 9

The original plan had been to head to Perth for two nights from here, but it had become very apparent that this would be far too long a distance to try for such a short stay. Instead, we flew a few hours south to the opal mining town of Coober Pedy.  We departed from Ayers Rock airport and flew the official scenic flight route out towards and along one side of the rock, before doubling back around Kata Tjuta and…

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