Zealand is the youngest country on earth - the last major landmass
to be discovered. It has a rich and fascinating history, reflecting
both our Maori and European heritage. Amazing Maori historic sites
and taonga (treasures), some dating back almost a thousand years,
are a contrast to many beautiful colonial buildings. New Zealand
today is a culturally diverse and fascinating country. Discover
the movie magic when you visit the Lord of the Rings filming locations.
Take guided tours of the stunning locations shot in the Lord of
the Rings trilogy.
JEAN BATTEN - FIRST SOLO FLIGHT FROM LONDON TO AUCKLAND
One Friday afternoon in October 1936, Aucklanders descended
in their thousands on Mangere aerodrome to see a slice
of history being made. Pioneering New Zealand
aviator Jean Batten was due to touch down at the end
of her epic flight from London. On cue, her little silver
Percival Gull aircraft appeared in the sky overhead.
It looked “a picture of speed and grace as it
approached the aerodrome with the sun glinting on its
wing and fuselage”.
When Batten landed the plane 10 days and 21 hours after
leaving Britain, she had etched her name on the honour
board of aviation history. Not only was she the first
person to fly solo from London to Auckland but she had
beaten the previous record for a transtasman crossing
by 1hr 28min.
“She stepped from her machine fresh and smiling,
with no sign of fatigue or strain visible after her
momentous flight”. Her plane was besieged by the
excited crowd and the nation’s mood was expressed
in a telegram from Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage:
“The world recognises you as one of the most famous
airwomen and New Zealand is proud to claim you as one
of her own.”
But Batten, like a typical Kiwi hero, was unruffled
by the fuss. “I find it hard to believe that I
do not have to go on somewhere else,” she said.
“But there doesn’t seem anywhere else to
go to,” she added, “unless to the Antarctic.
But one thing I do know: When I travel for a while after
this I am going by train or road transport. I have had
enough of the air for the time being.”
And she told the story of her 10-hour crossing
of the Tasman in which she dodged storms, flew for a while with
an albatross and spotted whales far below in the sea. “As
for the flight, I think my main impression was the utter loneliness
and the immensity of the vast blue stretch of water. Still,
I had the utmost confidence in my machine, which is the one
I used when I flew across the Atlantic to South America.”
“Whatever may yet be done, by herself or
others, nothing can erase the renown that is hers because of
this first direct linking of England with New Zealand by one
scheduled flight.” Yet with the passage of time, deeds
that once required great courage, exceptional vision and finely
tuned skills can – like the work of literary or scientific
genius – become so commonplace that they are taken for
granted. But how many jaded passengers from London, lamenting
the effects of jet lag, glance up at the little plane and reflect
that it once took real courage and greatness to make the journey
that has taken them about 24 hours, with hot meals laid on and
numberless channels of in-flight entertainment?
Batten’s silver aircraft now dangles from
the ceiling of the arrivals hall in the international terminal
named after her at Auckland Airport.
to New Zealand. There is just so much to do make sure you allow
plenty of time for your visit. You will find a diverse range of
scenery and conditions from sub-tropical to a little colder down
south particularly in the winter time. New Zealand can be enjoyed
at a pace to suit every age group. Grab a cheap flight to New
Zealand for a game of golf, Buy a map, hire a rental car, have
an adventure and fill your lungs with the smog free air New Zealand
has to offer. Accommodation from backpackers, bed and breakfast
to luxury hotel. Take your New Zealand tour.
TO NEW ZEALAND - HOME OF LORD OF THE RINGS