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Te Wai Pounamu o Aotearoa


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... or, The South Island of New Zealand (unless google has seriously misled me!)

This started out as a trip to Golden Bay and Farewell Spit, but I got a little distracted on the way…!

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Well, here I am in Nelson, giving the plane a quick once over.

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Departing runway 02. This is a payware quality airport that would easily sell for £15 from many other developers.

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This is the Nelson CBD and port. The airport is visible on the right.

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I'm now heading out towards Abel Tasman, following the coast, and here I'm approaching the town of Motueka.

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Just past Motueka is Kaiteriteri, subject of many a picture postcard.

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Further round the headland, we reach the Awaroa Inlet

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The Awaroa Lodge Hotel is only accessible by plane/helicopter, boat, or on foot! I think we'll pay a visit. That little green patch is the landing strip...

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Final. This is very much a one way in-one way out kind of place!

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Nice thing about the 182 is its STOL nature, and we have absolutely no trouble getting in. Taxi up to the top of the hill, and we should find the lodge...

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Continuing along the coast...

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I don't normally do this, but for this picture I slewed up to 12,000 ft, in order to get a really good look. This is Farewell Spit.

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This is Collingwood. It literally is the end of the road.

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And now we're approaching Tokaka, a small strip.

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Final.

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Even though it's just a small strip, the zombi people here are animated.

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Today's flight takes us from Takaka back over the hills to Motueka and Malibu Park, then on to our destination, a small strip known as Brewerton Creek…

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Tranquil little airfield… time to commit aviation!

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Tyre tracks on the taxiway - a nice touch.

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Climbing inland

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We need to clear that ridge… 6000ft should do it

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Yay!

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And down the other side!

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Flyby of Motueka airstrip. That glider is waiting for a launch - there is a winch at the far end of the runway, but I don't think they actually launch, at least I didn't see any.

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Climbing away

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The iconic windbreaks

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Overflying Brightwater airfield. We'll do a touch and go here.

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There's always someone sitting on a bench, ready to be a critic!

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Low down crops

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And so on to our destinationn. Clearing a ridge, the strip comes into view. I've circled it here in yellow. Yes seriously - it's just 305m long! I'm going to have to descend down the valley and make a U-turn, with a late turn onto final.

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Here we are; you almost wouldn't believe this was an airstrip - mind out for the tractor!

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Bumpety bump… there's the windsock

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Phew that was close! For a moment there I thought I wouldn't stop before the trees!

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Well, I've done a lot of flying but not much posting over the holiday, so here's a bit of catchup.

Firstly, part 2 of my flight in the Tecnam. You'll remember that we'd just got in to the little strip at Brewerton Creek, and narrowly missed the trees...

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We'll be turning left and heading up the valley. A quick hop over the hills will bring us into the next valley and Nelson Lakes. We'll then follow State Highway 63 to lake Rotoiti and St Arnaud, from which we head down the Wairau valley to Woodbourne.

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There are two key points in our Before Takeoff briefing: 1. Miss the tractor. and 2. Turn left before we hit the far side of the valley!

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Success in both points!

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Here we are on short final at Nelson Lakes. You'll notice the glider winch situated at the end of the runway.

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Glider pilots stand around talking, just like Real Pilots… ;)

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After taking off again, we get a good view of the gliding setup at Lake Station.

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Lake Rotoiti is our turning point.

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Nice view up the lake.

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And heading down the Wairau Valley

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Final for Woodbourne.

Next time we'll be messing about on the water...

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Today's trip takes us up into the Marlborough Sounds, for some watery action, and so we'll switch to an amphib.

We'll start at Omaka, just down the road from our last destination, and follow the main road North to Picton. Picton is the main port for the ferries that cross the strait between North and South islands. From there we'll take a look at Endeavour Inlet, and cruise around the sounds to end up at the grass strip at Clova Bay.

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There's a barbecue on the go. Prawns, anyone?

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This airfield is Koromiko. More of this next time.

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We've missed the ferry! Let's go in for a landing...

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We've caught up with the InterIslander ferry, heading for Wellington!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was talking about these pictures of the Skycatcher on the podcast, and I realised I hadn't posted them. Ho hum! Anyhow, here they are.

So, in this trip we're starting out from Koromiko (this is the airfield that we passed last time on the way to Picton). We'll take a trip out over the sounds (familiar territory), past Clova bay where we landed last time, aug to Port Hardy, then back to the mainland, through the valleys to the town of Havelock and finally to a short hillside strip called Long Valley Strip. It's the valley that's long, not the strip.

Anyway, here we go...

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And just to round it off, here's a postcard view, looking along the valley towards Havelock.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Buller Gorge

Today we're heading out to the west coast. We're starting at Murchison, and we'll finish up at Westport.

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Now, we can either take the direct route and go 'over the top', or we can go down the gorge. I'll let you figure out which we do...

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We're going to take a short break halfway down the gorge, at Reefton, for a cuppa and change of underthings. Look out for part two, very soon, but meanwhile here are a few postcards...

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Great shots Tim.

You really show off all the good sides of this magnificent scenery.

If I can find the time I'm thinking of doing a "Lord of the rings" tour in the future. From what I have found there's plenty of spots on the south island that was used in making the films.

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Today we're heading North up the West coaxt, to Karamea. But first a quick visit to Cape Foulwind…

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We're back in the 182 today.

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Lift off. You can see where we'll be going later.

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but first, a 180 takes us downwind

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The cement works is clearly marked on aviation charts. You can see the little strip we're visiting ahead of us.

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Cape Foulwind. Named by Captain Cook, after his ship, the Endeavour was blown out to sea. There is a large seal colony resident here.

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The airstrip features this impressive-looking JCB!

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Now we're heading North towards Karamea.

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Postcard:

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Cape Foulwind lives up to its name

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