Wanaka report part I - some points of interest on the way there

As it seems I was the only club member there, my decision to drive down was vindicated.  The weather in NZ during the days leading up to the airshow were pretty yucky and long distance VFR flight was really only for the small group of vastly experienced pilots who know what they're doing.  We stopped in on a few aviation related spots on the way.

First up was Hood Aerodrome in Masterton.  This is where the sister show to Warbirds over Wanaka, Wings over Wairarapa is held every other year.  I think my photos show just how miserable and un-aviation friendly the weather was on the day we drove through.
After going to Wanaka I think I might make an effort and go to the Wairarapa version next January.  Undecided as to whether I shall fly down or not.  We shall see.

Next we spent a day in Wellington and I stopped in to the Wellington Aero Club and said hi, before stopping to get a couple of shots.  The weather was vastly improved to the previous day (it got to 21 degrees C), the only thing of interest was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's air taxi (courtesy of No. 40 Squadron RNZAF) sitting on the apron awaiting their pleasure.
After a wet and murky trip across Cook Strait in the ferry, we stopped in at the Aviation Heritage Museum in Omaka.  I've heard that this place is good, and believe me it was, but I chose not to take photos inside the exhibition hall.  I will give it a glowing recommendation however, as it absolutely MUST be on the itinerary of any aviation enthusiast or WW1 historian.  The collection of aircraft and artifacts dating from the Great War is quite staggering and must be seen to be believed.  I did however take a snap of one of the last Bristol Freighters, this one surviving in taxiing condition which is now a fixture of Omaka Aerodrome.
There are also replica's of a Junkers Ju-87 Stuka and a Hawker Hurricane (not sure what variant it is supposed to be, I'd speculate an early model) parked outside but my photo didn't come out as well as I'd hoped.

Next stop after an overnight stay in Christchurch was the Ashburton Aviation Museum.  The most awesome thing about this place was walking into a hangar and seeing a Hawker Harrier GR3 sitting there!  I had no space to fit it into one frame so I've stitched up a photo taken from 4 separate shots which is why things look a little wonky.
They almost have a complete set of every jet put on the line by the RNZAF, they have a Meteor, Vampire, Canberra, Skyhawk, and Aermacchi.  The only one missing is the Strikemaster.  It's a little gem of a place and I strongly recommend going but put aside a decent hour as every plane has a tale and the local volunteers are more than happy to tell them to you.  

Next stop, Wanaka!


Rodney said…
Hiya! Looks like you had a nice trip down to Wanaka. I'm looking forward to pictures form the show itself!

I can definitely recommend the museum at Omaka - I've been twice and would go again (the last time was a couple or so years ago).