03 December 2022

Barrier Air Introduces Tauranga Servce


Barrier Air introduced its new Great Barrier Island - Tauranga service yesterday, the 2nd of December 2022, with the first service, GB 962, being flown by Sophia Moodabe-Smith in Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-SDC. The service operates three days a week on on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The flight from Great Barrier Island to Tauranga will depart at 4.20pm and arrive at 5.00pm. The return flight will leave Tauranga at 5.45pm and arrive at Great Barrier Island at 6.25pm. 

Barrier Air's CEO, Grant Bacon, said It is brilliant to have our new Tauranga service finally operating today. The support from Tauranga airport, Airways and the local Tauranga and Great Barrier market has been excellent. We have a lot of full flights in December and January which shows the demand for this service. There is no beating around the bush, times are tough and the inflationary environment we are operating is incredibly challenging but with a lean schedule and a good fare price it makes for a solid additional route for our operation. We also like this route as it gives us an opportunity to carry out maintenance checks at our Tauranga maintenance base between the flights. So, all we need is for the oil companies to  come to the party with  some compassion and a reduction in fuel prices and we should be in for a decent summer on this new route. Thanks to our amazing Barrier Air team for making this all a reality!

With my passion for our regional flights I joined five other  passengers on the inaugural flight and a full load on the return. This is the southbound flight, GB 962.

Sophia arriving at Claris airport for in ZK-SDC for the inaugural flight

Holding for company traffic ZK-SDD arriving from Auckland

Great Barrier Traffic, Barrier 962 rolling 28 left, turn on departure for Tuaranga

Kaitoke Creek

Climbing over the field

Blind Bay and looking to the Coromandel Peninsula to the south

The beautiful Kaitoke and Medland Beaches

Medlands Beach

Medlands Beach

The rugged coastline south of Medlands Beach

Pitokuku Island and Sugarloaf

Medlands Beach and the Coromandel Peninsula


Coromandel Peninsula with Port Jackson to the right

Glimpses of Great Mercury Island through the cloud on the climb to 8000 feet

Looking across to the Coromandel Peninsula

Great Mercury Island

A couple of photos as we were passing Whitianga

And a couple of photos of Pauanui (left) and Tairua (right)

Onemana on the left and Opoutere Beach on the right



Approaching Tauranga Harbour's eastern end

Waihi Beach

The eastern end of Tauranga Moana

Looking down Matakana Island to Mount Maunganui and Tauranga

Approaching the main harbour entrance


The two bridges and the port

Mount Maunganui looking towards Papamoa

Turning base for Runway 25 at Tauranga

Mount Maunganui while on finals

Barrier 962 cleared to land sealed runway 25

Tauranga - no water cannon salute but a round of applause from the passengers who loved the first flight

ZK-SDC on the ground at Tauranga

Thanks Sophia... an awesome flight


  1. Wonder what Sunair were thinking as this Competitor touched down on its home turf (touched down on Revenue flights I should say). Sunair tend to keep quite busy on the TRG-GBZ, TRG-WTZ-GBZ routes. I'll be interested to see whether Barrier make any dent in their loadings. Fare wise they seem to be rather the same...

    1. It will definitely have an impact. You can’t operate an air service VFR in NZ.