Off Again! 2005 - 2006 travel blog

Hawker Hurricane

SH2G Super Seasprite

One of my favourite's - the Kittyhawk. I just love the faces!

A pair of Kittyhawks about to take off!

The Catalina - this plane was used for air/sea rescue during WWII....

One of the acrobatic teams putting on a display. I felt sick...

And this one even decided to do a bit of flying upside...

The Munro Special! One of the bikes used in the film -...

The Indian being taken for a spin down the runway!

The equivalent of the Red Arrows Aerobatic display team

My favourite, L-39 Albatros. You can even pay to go for a...

The Vampire - this was the UK's first single-jet fighter plane!

This is what everyone was waiting to see - the F1-11 fighter...

The F1-11 performing a 'dump and burn'! So impressive, and with the...

The drivers all lined up and ready for the big 'Race to...

The only way to follow the cars up the mountain is by...

All shapes and sizes were in the race - 4 wheeled cars...

And 2 wheeled motorbikes!

The race starts with a figure of 8 track down in the...

Then the drivers start to head up the mountain

And the race track then zig zags its way up to the...

'Monster' - the Japanese driver that won the race this year. He's...


Easter this year for me has been full of action, I spent Good Friday at the 'Warbirds over Wanaka' air show, and then Easter Sunday at the hairaising 'Race to the Sky' at the Cardrona Snow Farm just outside of Wanaka. Pam and John very kindly put me up for the weekend again in their stunning house on the edge of Lake Wanaka, am beginning to feel quite at home there now!

'Warbirds over Wanaka' was formed by aviation entrepreneur Sir Tim Wallis, he held an airshow and country fair in 1988, and it was so successful that he decided to expand it and have it as a regular event. It's now acclaimed as the largest Warbird airshow in the southern hemisphere with over 100,000 people making the trip to the show every other year. What really makes this show I think is the setting - the huge moutains of the Southern Alps create a stunning backdrop. Friday was the practice day for the show with the Saturday and Sunday being the actual show days. But still being on a bit of a budget and not really a huge plane enthusiast, me and Pam decided to go to the show on the Friday when it was a bit quieter. Not knowing really what to expect, both of us were a bit taken aback by the impressive displays that took place throughout the day, rehearsing for the big show on the Saturday and Sunday. We both agreed that even though neither of us were really that into war planes, we had thoroughly enjoyed the day, so much so, that if we were ever here again over this weekend, we would probably go to the actual show days to see the planes run through their routines for real!!

Easter Sunday was the big race day for many competitors at the Cardrona Snow Farm, in the 'Race to the Sky'. It's a 14.5 km car rally up the side of a mountain, along a very windy and dangerous dirt track (135 corners and 9 hair pin bends!!). All competitors are timed individually and the fastest one to the top of the mountain wins! 'Monster' Tajima, a Japanese driver who has already won the race 6 times previously (out of 7 starts), not surprisingly won again! It was quite an impressive race to watch with all the drivers having already done two qualifying runs on the Saturday and Sunday to establish the running order for the final race. The drivers start off at the bottom of the mountain infront of the spectators where they have to drive around a 'figure of 8' track before beginning the dangerous drive up the mountain. Once the drivers get onto the mountain, after the first few bends, it is then quite hard to continue to follow them up the mountain as they get smaller and smaller the higher they get. The best way to track their progress is really to follow the trail of dust up the mountain!



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