Across the Tasman Sea

Mutton Bird Island

The remainder of the week we spent fishing for trout in the Taupo area with only moderate success.

We finally departed Ardmore on 22 March with the intention of visiting the Bay of Islands, made famous for its big game fishing by Zane Gray between the wars. He was also famous as a writer of novels about the American Wild West.

On leaving, we tracked out to sea and below two thousand feet, for some distance to avoid controlled airspace and the large military restricted area. We flew past the Bay and up the coast to the northern tip of the North Island admiring the many beautiful hills bays and river mouths before turning and returning to Keri Keri, the aerodrome associated with the towns of Keri Keri and Paihia on the Bay of Islands.

We stayed in Paihia for a few days, cruising on the bay, and doing a little small game fishing, with some success.

KariKari peninsula, near KeriKeri where Syd Jensen built his Falco, now owned by Giovanni Nustrini.

There was a minor hitch on leaving Kerikeri, as the only fuel supply was by swipe card, and neither of our cards would work the fuel pumps. This was finally fixed by the loan of a card belonging to the local aero club.

The return journey to Australia was uneventful and blessed with fine weather, even at Lord Howe.


The coast of Australia comes into view


On departing Lord Howe on Monday, we were able to travel home non-stop via Coffs Harbor on the coast. The scenic contrasts were amazing. However, it was good to see the the arid surroundings of home.

Total distance flown about 3844 nautical miles at an average speed of around 150 Knots. It is difficult to be exact owing to scenic detours.

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