Trip of Plenty

In December I made a brief trip to the Bay of Plenty area and I was able to capture quite a few interesting aircraft, even with limited time.

Our primary destination was Rotorua. We took several walks down by Lake Rotorua, where Volcanic Air Safaris operate a selection of aircraft, including New Zealand’s only registered De Havilland Canada DHC.3 Otter, ZK-VAS.

Volcanic Air Safaris De Havilland DHC.3 Otter turns onto the final heading for a landing on Lake Rotorua.

We made a day trip from Rotorua up to Tauranga, where I had a couple of hours to kill on my own. Of course I headed for Tauranga Airport, and my first stop was the Classic Flyers Aviation Museum.

A North American F-86 Sabre, painted to represent a Korean War veteran example of the USAF.
A De Havilland DH.114 Heron, formerly ZK-BBM of National Airways Corporation.

After wandering around the museum for an hour or so, I was given directions to a good spot to watch general movements. I have to say it was far busier than I expected. There was only a single Air New Zealand ATR-72 movement, but there were plenty of helicopters, general and commercial aviation activities, as well as a warbird.

Bell 206B Jetranger, ZK-IIK, hovering just above its trailer, with the pilot’s door open.
Hughes H369E , ZK-HTZ, awaits its next tasking, which is apparently being discussed intently.
North American AT-6 Harvard, ZK-ENE, (aka Harvard 66) is towed across the airfield.

On our way up to Rotorua, I had spied several of the RNZAF’s new Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft at RNZAF Base Ohakea, but these days all of the old spots one could stop and observe are no longer available. On our way home, however, I decided to drive around the back of the base. I was rewarded with a decent view of three Poseidons!

RNZAF Boeing P-8A Poseidons, NZ4802 and NZ4803, sit on the apron at Ohakea.

If you’d like to see more, I’ve gathered all of my aviation shots from the trip here.





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