We woke up early, had a nice breakfast and then said our goodbyes before driving to Nelson airport to catch a flight back to Paraparaumu.

Taxying at Nelson airport.


Lining up.


Taking off. Looking north from Nelson.


After turning crosswind. The airfield can be seen to the left and we’re looking east.

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Soon after takeoff, heading east, looking south.


The route took us NE along the coast to Waikawa Bay before turning on a more easterly heading towards Paraparaumu.

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Over Waikawa Bay and turning towards Paraparaumu.

We had some turbulence approaching 6000ft and we then descended to 3500ft so I assume it was to minimise the bumps as it seemed to be a successful ploy.


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Kapiti Island in the distance.


North Island to the left, South Island to the right.



Kapiti Island.


Kapiti Island from the south.

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Approaching Paraparaumu.

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Turning Final at Paraparaumu.

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Jack was a star and turned up on time to collect us and take us to his place to collect our car. We had an entertaining chat and coffee with him and Sheila before we left which we enjoyed.

Then we drove via Whanganui to Tongariro National Park to meet up with Lynne and Keith and Paul and Karen ready for walking the Tongariro Crossing the next day.

We had got a really good deal using the GrabOne site to stay at The Park Hotel Ruapehu, a basic but very decent setup. Two nights’ accommodation, 2 good breakfasts, a packed lunch and transport to the start of the walk and from the end of the walk were in the deal. If you’re thinking of walking the Crossing then look out for one of these deals.

We were first to arrive but Lynne and Keith were next and had wine and nibbles so we sat in their room. By the time Paul and Karen had arrived (actually really not that long after) the wine had been drunk and we’d got through at least half of the big bag of nibbles. So we decided it was time to visit the restaurant/bar and get some drinks there. There’s nothing like proper preparation for a tough walk. It’s so important to stay hydrated! 🙂 We ordered some food and drink and had a very good evening.

Me, Noel, Keith, Lynne, Paul and Karen.


Before it got dark I popped outside to take a photo of the view. There was low cloud over Ngauruhoe (to the left). It turned out that the Tongariro Crossing had been cancelled every day that week due to the winds. At least the forecast for tomorrow was good enough.