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Getting to the air show

The weather was absolutely perfect for the day of the air show. We hadn’t planned to leave especially early and got underway at 8am, naively intending to arrive in Ohakea sometime around 10am.

Traffic was free flowing, aside from the common troublespots of Otaki and Levin.

Thanks to the era of the electronic gadget the boys were happily engaged

And then we got to a few kms south of Sanson where we joined the back of a very long queue. Which for long periods of time stood still.

The more onto-it people took an early turnoff down a back road (not us and I began kicking myself soon after) while the majority of us stayed on the prescribed route.

Understandably there were bound to be some hold ups because of the expected crowd numbers and the limited capacity roads. But it began to get a bit ridiculous – and there were no signs, no information.

Resigned to a long slow trip I occupied myself with a camera, finding stuff of interest in surroundings that would ordinarily have been a blur.

As we inched further north, 10am arrived and with it the start of the air displays. We heard the planes overhead and snatched views now and then.

Soooooo disappointed to have missed the F/A-18 display. This was all I had time to catch on the little camera. Better than zip I guess

We creeped closer.

Finally we had another chance to take another shortcut – down the aptly named Speedy Rd – which very few others were taking. Poor them; turned out this saved us at least another hour. Though we still found ourselves in another very slow moving queue.

Our neighbours at a time when none of us were going anywhere

We were clearly going to miss whatever the Hueys were planning to do at the base. But it was great seeing, and hearing, them fly over

This was a cool building but too many cars and whatnot in front - must try to detour past here again another time

Getting rather desperate for a toilet stop, we had no real choice but to hang in there.

Light posts at the northern approach to the runway

On the home stretch now. The speck in the wing mirror could be an insect, but is actually a plane

The trip to Ohakea should normally take around 2 hours. Today it took 4.5 hours. With some amazement we finally turned in to the base access road.

Fiiiiiiiiiinally we were there

We headed on in and rarely have I been so happy to see a port-a-loo. We were surprised to find that those in charge had given up on checking for tickets. About 10,000 tickets had been purchased online, with the 50-60,000 other people to have paid at the gate. That’s a heck of a lot of revenue they sacrificed.

Unfortunately many people stuck in the queues, which were reported to have extended south for about 30kms, gave up and returned home. I can imagine how difficult it must’ve been for some families with children.

I’m glad we persisted as the rest of the day was excellent. See here for my post on the air show.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Christine #

    Good for you for your perseverance! Well rewarded by all accounts

    8 April 2012
    • Am very glad we didn’t pull the pin

      9 April 2012
  2. Janice Strong #

    Really loved this Hayley and loved the photo of you in your pink track suit. Amazing photos of the planes. You are very talented Hayley.
    Keep them coming and we’ll keep reading.
    Janice and Craig

    8 April 2012
    • Thank you! It’s great having those ‘old photos’ around thanks to the albums that mum painstakingly put together many years ago.

      9 April 2012

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