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14 days around New Zealand at 3000 feet !

Step back half a century and relive the glorious age of pioneer aviation while surrounded by some of the world’s most stunning scenery.

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An Air Cruise around Antipodean Paradise in the Matriarch of the Skies

Relax and enjoy the flight in the morning over some of the most stunning scenery in the world, get out and feel it under your feet in the afternoon, that is the Airscapade concept, while adding fine dining and top notch charming accommodation to complete the package.. And for further flexibility, those unable to partake of the whole 14 day tour can choose the number of legs, on a per day basis, (if space available)

tour-map
This tour is not for people who want to get around NZ quickly in a private jet. No, the DC3 is a majestic old girl, legend of the skies and this tour is for those who appreciate her as such, flying at low altitudes, taking advantage of the panoramic windows and enjoying the vibrant throb of the radial engines.
A variety of natural wonders, cultural insights and contact with historic aviation sites in New Zealand – all carefully chosen to fit into a relaxed timetable with regular 2 night stays.
All included, we have breakfast provided by the hotel, a light lunch either on board or upon arrival, and then fine dining evening meals either at our hotel or a nearby restaurant.
We have selected some of the finest accommodation in NZ, but where possible, in keeping with the style and period of the DC3. Always with ensuite facilities we have chosen smaller rather than large hotels.
All included, and we have decided to have a minibus travel in parallel with the plane in case of weather that would make the journey unsafe or unpleasant, thus preventing disruption to the schedule.
Consult the insert / website for the current dates and prices – fuel being a large component of this air cruise there can be changes during a season. However once a deposit is received, the price is guaranteed. To make a reservation a deposit of 25% is required, with the balance being due no later than 30 days before Day 1.Cancellation Fees :
It is recommended that each participate take out a travel insurance policy to cover both cancellation fees and possible medical costs.

THE TOUR IN DETAILS – 14 Days

1

Auckland

auckland2Arrival in the economic capital of the country. Depending on individual arrival times, visit of the waterfront and the Kelly Tarlton Underwater world, the town centre and university area, the historic district of Parnell and an overview from Mt Eden. As time permits, a visit to the Motat museum of Transport and Technology will enable enthusiasts to see some great old planes including the only remaining Short Solent IV gradually being restored.

 

2

Rotorua 1 hr.

rotorua2A relatively short flight to Rotorua, possibly with a detour to overfly volcanic White Island. Rotorua is the heart of both the North Island Maori community and the wild geothermal activity as well as the hometown of Jean Batten, the first person to fly from England to New Zealand in 1936.

 

 

3

Rotorua 0 hr.

Whakarewarewa_300Visits here include various geo-thermal sites such as Whakarewarewa and its geysers, and Waiotapu with its rainbow of colours, the Agrodome (sheep show for a bit of light entertainment), the mighty Huka Falls and NZ’s largest lake, Taupo. A Maori traditional dinner (hangi) and concert to top off the day.

 

 

4

Wellington 2h.

wellington2Flying over the 15 lakes of the Rotorua region, lake Taupo the 3 volcanoes of the centre of the North Island provide an impressive backdrop on the route to the capital.  A possible visit to the Southward Car Museum – a great collection, followed by a visit of the capitals highlights – the beehive parliament, the cable car, Mt Victoria for a great view.

 

 

5

Blenheim 0.5h.

blenheim_300A fairly short but very picturesque flight out of Wellington, across Cook Strait, and the Marlborough Sounds to then reach Blenheim. Not only is this one of NZ’s top wine growing areas but it has a the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, a superb WW1 museum that is a must.

 

 

 

6

Cook/Twizel 2h.

twizel2Onwards to the centre of the island with the highest peak, Mt Cook at 3754 and the chain of mountains known as the Southern Alps. The park visitor centre is full of information and for those keen, a walk in the national park over to the Tasman Glacier or Kea Point.

 

 

 

7

Dunedin 2h.

dunedin2A mixture of glacial and rainwater lakes provides contrasting colours, against a relatively dry landscape on the eastern side of the mountain ranges. The hydro-electric activity is omnipresent, between canals and dams, before reaching the east coast, overflying the Moeraki Boulers and Oamaru. Dunedin is a university town and has a right Scottish touch.  An afternoon excursion on the historic Taieri Gorge railway is a pleasant way to relax.

 

 

8

Visit

larnach_castle_300A morning visit of the Otago Peninsula (royal albatross) and the Larnach Castle before heading out to the airport and westwards. A short stop at the lovely collection of historic aircraft at Mandeville along with the Croyson workshop before continuing on to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park, the largest in the country and of course the famous fjords

 

9

Te Anau 0h.

Cruise ship in Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, New ZealaDay dedicated to the discovery of the remote fiords, carved out millenia ago as the glaciers made their way down to the sea. The minibus enables stops for walks in the primaeval rainforest of the national park on the way to and from the fiord, with a 2h cruise on the fiord itself. Upon return, a helicopter view of the region at the purpose made cinema, and a visit to the wildlife park to see the ultra rare Takahe, flightless bird of the region. In the evening, visit across the lake of Te Anau to the glowworm caves.

 

 

10

Wanaka 1h.

wanaka2Over the southern lakes to Wanaka, home of the famous biennial Warbirds over Wanaka show and an excellent aviation museum. Delightfully nestled between the lake, mountains and river, Wanaka is a most picturesque stopover. An alternative option is to remain with the minibus to stop off enroute at historic Queenstown, with its spectacular lake and views.

 

11

Hokitika 1.5h.

hokitika2The flightpath crosses the Southern Alps to the rugged wild west coast and heads north above the twin glaciers Fox and Franz Josef (cloud permitting) and the gold mines of Ross to touch down at Hokitika, capital of greenstone.  In addition to a visit of this once thriving gold mining town, the minibus will head down the coast to Franz Josef Glacier for an up close visit to this phenomenon, a glacier coming almost down to the sea, and the surrounding park.

 

 

12

Nelson 1h.

Pancake_Rocks_300An morning minibus trip up the coast to the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki – remarkable geological rock formations with blowholes on the coast, before flying north to Nelson. In addition to its arts and crafts, and fine restaurants, Nelson is home to an unsual museum of wearable art, along with some historic cars. Continuation by minibus to Kaiteriteri at the foot of the Abel Tasman Park.

 

 

13

Nelson 0h.

LO87A day out in the jewel of the coastal Abel Tasman National Park. A trip up the coast by water taxi and a partial return on foot on the famous track – with a picnic on the beach and a bit of well earned relaxation for all. Return to the lodge in the afternoon.

 

 

 

14

Auckland 3h.

20669960_9c641ab3d1_300Total of 14 hours of flying very approximately
After a leisurely breakfast, return to Auckland, overflying Taranaki and its centre, Mt Egmont. A gentle longer flight to enjoy the last moments in the DC3. A bit of free time in Auckland to do last minute shopping or the last postcards.

 

 

15

Departure

Whereas every effort will be made to maintain the programme as described, as with all old planes, participants should be aware that both weather and technical issues can give an element of adventure to an air cruise. A minibus will follow the route as an alternative in case of unavoidable air delays and will also be an option for those wanting to do some of the route by land from time to time. There may also be minor alterations to the route and programme in order to take advantage of weather, special events and other opportunities that arise.