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