Henry Miller once stated, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Well, with Air Auckland you can have both.
Recently I was fortunate enough to take Air Auckland up on their proposal by taking to the skies from Ardmore Airport with the expressed intention of enjoying the journey and seeing the Auckland region from a different perspective. I noticed the difference right from the beginning.
Let me say right up front you won’t believe the value for money packages they have available. Starting at just $149 per person for their breathtaking tour flights right through to their diverse range of destination packages to exclusive venues such as a decadent lunch at Pepper Tree Restaurant in the Coromandel for $299. If that sounds like an unforgettable experience why not make it one by taking advantage of their personalised video package service starting from only $120. Talk about offering more than just a destination and that is only the beginning.
Upon arriving at the Air Auckland hanger parking is free and instead of being greeted with extended security check ins, Elaine was there to introduce me to the other passengers before taking us past a number of smaller private planes and out onto the runway where Mike, our pilot was waiting for us.
He quickly made us feel comfortable as he took us through the boarding procedure and afforded me a few moments to take in the splendid sights of the wider airport along with take an obligatory selfie… With only 3 passengers to board we were belted up and taxiing down the runway in less than 5 minutes.
At that point, I was a little nervous having never flown in such a small aircraft before however my fears quickly subsided as Mike expertly accelerated us into the heavens. The first thing I noticed was how surprisingly smooth the flight was. This feeling quickly translated into feeling safe and secure enough to turn my attention to the breathtaking view of the wider Auckland region. It was at that point it struck me just how unique an experience travelling in a 4-seater Cessna is compared to traditional modes of transport. Flying 1,500 feet above the ground offers quite the different perspective of the beautiful blend of geographic features and urban sprawl not afforded to those navigating through the traffic on the roads below.
However unlike larger aircraft used for longer flights which feel more like cramped cattle trucks travelling too fast and too high with limited viewing angles to really appreciate the dynamic view below you, Mike graciously mauvered us along our own custom flight plan, all the while showcasing his extensive knowledge of the Auckland and Waiheke region.
Over the course of the 30 minute flight we soared over the Harbour Bridge, Central city including the Sky Tower, Mt. Eden, Devonport, Whitford Forest, and along the bays to see Half Moon Bay, St. Heliers Cliff, Browns Island and directly over Rangitoto’s spectacular volcanic crater before arriving safely back on solid ground at Ardmore Airport. As we exited the aircraft, taking a moment to thank Mike for a fantastic experience and take our final photos it was clear Air Auckland delivers on their promise to make the journey part of the experience.