08 November 2010

Go North

Mike Condon caught Go North's Cessna U206C (c/n U206-0922) at North Shore on the 7th of November 2010. Recently there was an article on Go North in the Kaipara Lifestyler...

Be it an urgent trip to Auckland for an international flight connection, a wide leisurely circuit of the huge Kaipara harbour coastline, or a trip to see Cape Reinga from the air - Kaipara has a little airline that can. Former Kaiwaka farmer, Murray Hargreaves, is the owner and operator of Go North Ltd, based on State Highway 12 just west of Maungaturoto, a flight operation that has grown from an agricultural role into an air charter business that can have accommodation added. Murray and his wife Kathy, who grew up in Marahemo, also operate Wings Bed and Breakfast in conjunction with their flying activity, and can offer a bed, breakfast and flight package. Self-contained accommodation is provided on the 52-hectare property, with a meal service available. Overseas guests have arrived after a pickup at Auckland Airport to enjoy an airborne holiday in the north. “I learnt to fly at the old Otamatea Aero Club field in Bickerstaff Road and went on to complete my commercial licences in Auckland,” said Murray. “I worked with James Aviation topdressing and spraying before going out on my own.” With capital borrowed against the beef cattle operation he runs on the property, Murray bought a Fletcher top dressing plane. “Then the price of beef went up, we paid off the loan a year early, and we are away,” he added.

Later the business operated under the Super Air brand, with Murray as pilot and manager, before the association ended in redundancy. “So we decided to form Air North, and we operate with a Cessna 206, capable of taking five passengers and their freight over a two to three hour flight time. “Our routes are usually from Maungaturoto to Auckland — either North Shore or the international airport. We do Maungaturoto to Great Barrier Island and all around Northland as well.” When not flying charters, Murray can still be found in his old role, topdressing and spraying with his Australian-built ‘Fat Man’ GA299C. Go North also retains a sense of aviation adventure as it offers a little ‘extra’ in its brochure. “On the west coast of New Zealand you can experience a dramatically different view of a wild, virtually untouched wilderness where we land — when conditions allow — to take in the atmosphere.”

1 comment: