19 March 2015

A day with Golden Bay Air - Part 1

In my opinion one of New Zealand's most interesting airline operator's is Takaka's Golden Bay Air. On 12 January 2006 Richard Molloy and Lisa Sheppard launched Capital Air which offered flights between Wellington and Takaka.In May 2009 the base was moved from Wellington to Takaka and the company was renamed Golden Bay Air Ltd to reflect its increasing commitment to Golden Bay. Since then the company has grown and successfully operates a year around service from Takaka to the capital. Last Saturday (14 March) I had a wonderful day with Golden Bay Air...

To book a flight on Golden Bay go to : http://www.goldenbayair.co.nz/

Ride for the day was Golden Bay Air's Piper PA32 Saratoga pulling into Gate 20 at Wellington
I had wished it was going to be the Seneca - sigh!
The only sun in Wellington was on the Saratoga's tail
Mixing it with the big boys... ZIG being refuelled...
After the briefing, putting on the life jacket (Golden Bay Air policy) we were ready for boarding
Lining up runway 16 - guess who got the front seat!
And we were off climbing out over a murky Lyall Bay
Because of the low cloud there were great views of Island Bay...
...one of the Bluebridge ferries...
...and the entrance to Tory Channel.

Looking down Tory Channel.
Golden Bay Air tend to operate the Saratoga VFR when they can... with up to four flights a day over Cook Strait in the summer the pilots know the Cook Strait well
Looking down Queen Charlotte Sound
and the other way down to Picton... The cloud base a lot higher now

Pilot for the day was Kieran White seen here in his office

D'Urville Island in the distance and French Pass... when there was a shipping service between Nelson and Wellington the ships passed through the narrow gap!

After flying across Tasman Bay we approach Separation Point - Golden Bay lies beyond

Passing Awaroa

Wainui Bay

Spot the airfield!

Finals Runway 18 at Takaka
No waiting for baggage
While ZIG enjoys the sun before the afternoon service to Wellington

Part 2 of my day with Golden Bay Air can be found here...


  1. Some wonderful looking scenery there.

  2. Probably the most scenic scheduled air route in the country.