Home' Waiheke Weekender : 15 November 2012 Contents 15 November 2012
8 Waiheke Weekender
I don't know about everyone else but I had always
assumed that by 2012 people would have fying
cars. It just seemed like the natural progression
of things. While their absence had always left
me feeling disappointed, after taking a ride with
Flight Hauraki last week, I think my childhood
dreams were actually largely unnecessary.
The company is the latest in a line of air
services operating around the Hauraki Gulf (and
the upper North Island) and they are now re-forg-
ing links with the outermost gulf island, making
it quick and easy to visit Great Barrier without
having to go to town to catch a ferry or a fight
out of Auckland Airport.
Last week I caught a ride with them to experi-
ence fying in a light aircraft for myself, heading
from North Shore up to Kerikeri and back for
an afternoon. What would have normally been
a six-hour round trip took less than two hours
I have to confess to having been a bit nervous;
I had never fown in a small plane before and
they just seemed a bit… insubstantial.
However, standing at the North Shore
Aerodrome waiting for the plane, I watched a
learner pilot touching down a small two-man
plane on the tarmac.
I was struck by how light and agile it
appeared to be; coming in slow, it touched the
ground with barely a bump. Then, while still on
the runway, the pilot accelerated back up to
speed and popped back up into the sky to
do it all again. These are defnitely not the
fying buildings I was used to travelling in.
These are something smaller, simpler and
The human touch seemed to be a theme
for the day. Getting out to the aerodrome in
the frst place had been a simple matter of
catching a ride with the free shuttle from
just outside the ferry building on Queen
Along the way, driver Nicholas Ackroyd
explained that because they take commut-
ers they’re registered to use the bus lane,
which I was grateful for because it was
barely past 4pm and already I could see
the motorway flling up and grinding to a
It wasn’t long before I was shaking the
hand of the pilot William Hayman, a man
with the calm profciency of long experi-
ence; 30 years of it in fact. He has had his
fxed wing pilot’s license since he was 16
and some of his earliest memories are of
fying with his father out to Great Barrier
in a Piper Cub.
Sitting in the co-pilot’s seat with a pair
of noise-cancelling headphones reducing
the roar of the engine to a dull hum, I got a
panoramic view of the landscape as we lifted off.
Flying north, William pointed out landmarks as we went, includ-
ing the various islands in the Hauraki Gulf where they regularly
give tours around Waiheke, Great Barrier and the Coromandel
For many travellers, fying is a matter of time and convenience.
If you only have a few days off to go to Great Barrier, a 20-minute
fight is probably preferable to a fve-hour boat trip. This is partic-
ularly true for Waiheke residents because even taking the ferry
requires the time and expense of an additional ferry trip into town.
Rising to just over 2000 feet, we few just under the clouds. It
seemed to be the perfect altitude for getting a great view – high
enough to see for miles yet also low enough that the landscape isn’t
reduced to an oil painting in terms of detail.
Looking down, I got a feeting glimpse into people’s lives. The
motorway by this point was well and truly clogged, but as we got
further out into the country I could see orchards, motor cross tracks
and herds of sheep.
The cruising speed of the 7 seater Cesna is about 240 kilometres
an hour, which was slower than I expected for a plane. However,
Above -- The 7 seater Cesna which will whisk me north.
Below -- The wide expanse of sea and sky over Oneroa Bay.
Light aircraft can often be seen buzzing around the island's skies, some carrying
sightseeing tourists, others flying people to and from Waiheke and Great
Barrier. This week Martin Moore hitched a ride with Flight Hauraki to check
things out for himself.
09 372 5646 • email@example.com • www.ecozip.co.nz
* T&Cs: Family = 2 adults + 2 children under 16.
“Waiheke locals” deal on oﬀer from now untl November 30 2012.
• You must book over the phone (09 372 5646), quotng promo code “LOCALS”
• Upon check-in at EcoZip Adventures you’ll need to present photo ID and show us a
recent utlity bill with your name and Waiheke address on it…
…and you’ll only pay $79/adult, $49/child, $177/family of 4
(usual prices $99, $59, & $217!)
PLEASE: Take advantage of our shutle pick-up optons from Matata or Oneroa
both to experience the full EcoZip Adventure as well as reduce our collectve carbon footprint!
Schedule commences 16 November: MONDAY and FRIDAY
NORTH SHORE AIRFIELD to WAIHEKE dep 11:00am
WAIHEKE to GREAT BARRIER
GREAT BARRIER to WAIHEKE
WAIHEKE to NORTH SHORE AIRFIELD dep 1:00pm
PRICES: North Shore Airfield -- Waiheke $97
Great Barrier -- Waiheke $149 (children under 16 $99)
Free shuttle pick and drop off at Auckland CBD available.
SCENIC and TRANSFER FLIGHTS available.
See our website for other flights we offer or call us for a quote.
firstname.lastname@example.org 09 426 4276 0508 235 969
tm Waiheke/Nth Shore/Great Barrier
Links Archive 8 November 2012 22 November 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page