Kapoors Year 9B: Australia and New Zealand travel blog

When I Read About The Pilot Who Flew The First Trans-Tasman Flight...

Guy Menzies, And Australian, Took Almost Twelve Hours To Make The Crossing

And Now The Hard Part, Finding A Place To Land, Locals Tried...

But The Flax Field Where He Chose To Land Proved To Be...

He Wasn't Injured, He Ended Up Having Afternoon Tea With Incredulous Hari...

After Peeking At The Replica We Needed To Turn Around To Get...

It Looked Like His Little House Was Made From Scrap Metal Left...

A Half Hour Later We Arrived At Ross, Where New Zealand's Largest...

There Was Lots On Tap For Anyone Wanting To Learn About The...

But I Grew Up In Edmonton, And The Summer Exhibition Was All...

We Gave Ross A Pass, And Carried On Towards Greymouth, A Few...


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BACKGROUND

Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – New Zealand chapter on The West Coast has to say about the towns of Hari Hari and Ross:

“Hari Hari made headlines in 1931 when swashbuckling Australian aviator Guy Menzies completed the first solo trans-Tasman flight from Sydney. Menzies crash-landed his plane into La Fontaine swamp. Menzies’ flight took 113⁄4 hours, 21⁄2 hours faster than fellow Australian Charles Kingsford Smith’s flight in 1928. At the southern end of town is a replica of Menzies’ trusty biplane.

Ross is where the unearthing of NZ’s largest gold nugget, the 2.772kg ‘Honourable Roddy’, caused a kerfuffle in 1907. The Ross Goldfield’s Information Centre displays a replica Roddy, along with a scale model of the town in its shiny years.”

KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

These two little towns were just brief stops on a long, long day. We had started by hiking to the Fox Glacier and then we began driving north along the West Coast towards Greymouth. Our plan was to stay the night and then drop the car off near the train station in order to be ready to board the TransAlpine train for a journey up and over the New Zealand Alps to Christchurch.

We were happy to have little diversions along the way, otherwise it might have been like driving across the Canadian prairies with nothing to see or do for hundreds of kilometers. If we’d had a little more time, I wouldn’t have minded stopping in at Ross to see the replica ‘Roddy’, I can’t imagine a gold nugget that weighed almost three kilograms.

We had a few chuckles at Guy Menzies solo crossing of the Tasman Sea, especially when he crash-landed in a flat field, nose in the mud and tail up in the air, and then off he went for Afternoon Tea with the field workers who rescued him! ‘Only In Britain’ you say, not!

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