Airplane Flight Around Coromandel Peninsula

Andrew J. Wharton, Dave Clingman, and Elizabeth Jones

Andrew, Dave, Elizabeth, and the airplane we rode

We hired a local pilot to fly us and a friend around the Coromandel Peninsula one afternoon. It was amazing seeing from the air all the places we’ve driven and/or walked, as well as seeing some places I’ve never been.

Pilot Amber Drummond and Dave Clingman flying around Coromandel Peninsula

“Keep your eyes on the road, Amber!”

The flight took 1.2 hours and cost each of us $96.00 (about US$82.00). Our pilot, Amber Drummond, met us at Thames Air Strip, and we took off on our adventure. She wants to get a few more hours flying, so that she can get a good job piloting. So, she was offering flights for just $80.00 per hour with a minimum of two passengers. Regular price for such a flight is between $300 and $400.

Coromandel Harbour with Coromandel Town in the background

Coromandel Town and Coromandel Harbour

Our plan was to fly up the west coast of the Coromandel Peninsula (circling our house on the way) up around the very top/north end of the peninsula and then back down the east side of the peninsula before crossing the peninsula back to Thames. But when we got to Coromandel Town and all the little islands in that area, the air currents kicked up, and I began feeling ill. So, we cut across the peninsula at about Colville, reducing our planned flight by about half an hour.

Andrew J. Wharton and Dave Clingman's 100-year-old villa at Whakatete Bay

Our Home

Seeing our house from the air was quite a thrill. Things from up there look neater and nicer than here on the ground, probably because we can’t see all our “projects in progress.” I was rather hoping we would be able to see our dog, Tazmin, from up there, but she no longer bothers to go outside to bark at planes flying overhead.

Cathedral Cove from the air, east side of Coromandel Peninsula

Cathedral Cove

On the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula, it was great seeing Cathedral Cove from the air. Andrew and I have been to Cathedral Cove a few times. (Elizabeth has been there, too, of course, but not with us.) We’ve walked the 45 minute path from the car park to the cove, and I’ve ridden the water taxi (boat) from Hahei to the cove. So, it was wonderful seeing it from the air.

Tairua and Pauanui from the air, east side of Coromandel Peninsula

Tairua and Pauanui

When our flight reached Tairua and Pauanui, we turned west across the Coromandel Peninsula back to Thames. As we crossed over Kauaeranga Valley, we circled the Pinnacles.

Kauaeranga Valley's Pinnacles

The Pinnacles

I’ve never been up there, as I probably couldn’t walk that far, but both Andrew and Elizabeth have been there, though not together. The Pinnacles are amazing. I’m thrilled that I finally got a chance to see them up close, rather than just from the road, far away.

Crossing the peninsula again, I got to feeling ill again, so I was very glad to finally be back on the ground. I would not give up this experience for anything. It was amazing seeing all the beautiful places from the air.

 

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