Tag Archives: travel

Weekly News in Nelson Bays Region….PART II

Feb 28 2012

As I mentioned last week there’s ways, other than just reading here or my twitter feed,  that you can keep up to date with happenings in the Nelson bays region of New Zealand.

First up its the paper that heralds itself on “only good news reporting”, perhaps a first in newspaper publishing?

The Nelson Weekly (click link below for latest edition)

The Nelson Weekly is delivered free to householder letterboxes each week.

Not forgetting our southern cousins, next up for free public consumption is the Waimea Weekly,

The Waimea Weekly – click below for latest edition

actually a paper that was started before the Nelson Weekly….The Waimea Weekly was the original in the region that proudly proclaiming itself to be all about “good news.”

Enjoy your reading.

Rescue and Choppers go together, like…

Dec 28th, 2011

UPDATED 29th December 2011 ( see end of article )

….well….they really just go together. Flying 300 missions annually is testament to that.

Nelson’s proximity to multiple National Parks is more than likely unmatched in the whole of New Zealand.

Goodness knows how all those injured trampers, lost individuals and other unfortunate casualties would have fared 40 years ago, but as luck would have it, technology comes to the rescue in modern times. Its obvious that we have a need for a locally based rescue helicopter service.

Its brought home every year, especially around the holiday break.

The major foundation for a successful outcome is………The Golden Hour…..and for the topography of our region, helicopters are probably the best type of machine to deliver that capability.

PHOTO - Lowes Corporation Hawkes Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust

As I have mentioned plenty here before, one of Nelsons major attractions is its lifestyle, and our surroundings certainly reinforce that. One of Nelsons geographical features is that it is encompassed by National Parks. Now in National Parks people go out wandering, but it turns out that not everyone is totally prepared for what can be dished up to them…..

Take this little suburbia based example from last week as a sample, …..and these visitors haven’t even ventured more than 5 ~ 10km from the centre of Nelson yet?

At this time of year in the Nelson / Tasman region thoughts wander to rest & relaxation, and that’s not just the locals!

Just in case you aren’t aware, recently a very important decision was made by New Zealands civil aviation authorities that mandated changes, as the NZ Herald reported …;

The regulations require rescue helicopters to have twin engines if they are to fly over hospitals. This affects six rescue helicopters based in Tauranga, Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Nelson.

Just as interesting, this ruling was to apply to the whole country, as the “Stuff.co.nz” website reported;

In Wellington, operators from Palmerston North, Hastings, New Plymouth and Nelson would be unable to land on the hospital’s rooftop pad, with Wellington-based Westpac rescue helicopter the only service that flies a twin-engine craft in the area. Wellington Hospital gets between 50 and 80 flights a week.

That meant that even if the Nelson based Summit Rescue chopper had to make a dash to Wellington, it now had “time constraints” regarding landing zones, that could impact on that “Golden Hour.”


Christchurchs Rescue chopper

Looks like the situation is now fixed.

This is how Christchurch based Garden City Helicopters hints at it ;

Also recently added is a twin engine BK117 – B2 rescue helicopter which has also gone to Nelson for EMS work.

After hearing the different sounding engines for the last week (I’m guessing where I live must be in some sort of flight path) it was quite obviously different, and the Kawasaki/Eurocopter chopper certainly looks nothing like the Squirrel. The specs on the new chopper are impressive indeed.

I haven’t seen it yet, but I’d expect an official type of Press Release from the Rescue Chopper base in Nelson soon.

Meanwhile all visitors to our region can be rest assured that should something untoward happen, they are in the best hands that technology can currently deliver.



I’d been wondering about this, but Garden City Air Centre have now explained the new aircraft parked up at Nelson Airport, also in a related role.

This is the third recent addition to the Garden City fleet, with a King Air C90 fixed-wing aircraft added earlier this year. This aircraft will mainly be used as an air ambulance based out of the company’s Nelson operation, but which is also available for private charter.

Also good news for local residents.

UPDATED 29th December 2011

Page 3 of todays Nelson Mail, our local paper carries the following story…

Looks like Nelson Airport now has 2 Rescue Choppers based there....

…head on over to the article here for the full read. The “even better” news is the Squirrel will also stay on, so the greater Nelson / Tasman region will have 2 rescue choppers now.

Also in the paper was mention of just how busy they can be at this time of year, 3 rescues yesterday.

Chief Pilot Tim Douglas-Clifford told the paper;

..the day’s work…..was a good example of how important the newly operational BK117 helicopter was, in being able to carry two patients and save valuable time and resources.

Nice to hear some good news. Heres the news from the Summit Rescue Choppers Facebook page.

Little big plane now has a big big brother

Checking out the “flight-line” at Everett Field this past week, I noticed something unusual.

At first I thought who the heck, in this age of multi colour, would paint an airplane black.

(Real Estate relevance to this seemingly unrelated story – coming up…..)

Then after a couple of seconds it sunk in. ZK-OKQ sounds very much like a New Zealand rego.


Remember these planes above from NZ’s recent Rugby World Cup. (click here to be taken to the site to see the FULL SIZE version of this “perfect timing” photo of each airlines tribute plane in this great shot from Colin Hunter)

After the very choreographed new Allblacks RWC2011 BLACK Airbus 320 (ZK-OAB) introduction some time back, it seems that another three Beech 1900D from Air New Zealand partner, link airline Eagle Air have also been painted to commemorate our winning rugby team.

But the trump card comes this week with the unveiling of the largest commercial airliner to date, that has been painted with over 700 lit ( 700 liters ) of black paint.

And according to past legends of NZ Rugby;

……(it) looked “sensational” and would “really turn heads” at airports around the world.

Expect the usual Air NZ treatment when she arrives, and I for one am hopeing for once, that TV1, 2, 3, 4 or someone decides to pick up the expected continuous live feed.

After all folks, even though Air New Zealand does have over 100 aircraft, including already 12 B777’s this is a $200 million dollar investment in New Zealand. And lets not forget Boeings latest incantation, the B777-300 (the cuddle class things) Air NZ has 4, and at an average  age of less than 12 mths they are some the newest planes in the longhaul world. We need these big fellows to economically cover the sort of distances than NZ, being at the bottom of the world downunder demands.

Ooophs nearly forgot ~ the real estate relevance.

There are two really important demographics that an airline like Air NZ should correctly target. No. 1 are those from abroad for whom, but not always, after visiting Godsown….want to live here….and then there are returning Kiwis, for whom and lets not forget this small but significant point, the “ease of regular travel back home” is high on their list of desires.

On top of this there will be the aging ex-pat boomers who long for home (not forgetting NZ has the 2nd most highest ex-pat population in the World, behind Ireland)

And in case you are still wondering, as NZ’s sunshine capital, Nelson has more than just a little bit to benefit from this traffic.

Air New Zealand RELATED UPDATE 21-12-2011

Air New Zealand has just been granted type design ­approval for 330min extended operations (ETOPs) for its Boeing 777-300ER twinjets. This is also important because it could potentially mean even shorter trips on these planes over their longest ocean legs.





Where is the clearest water in the World?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the clearest water in the world is in our region, the Top of the South.

You’ll find it at Te Waikoropupu Springs, also known as Pupu Springs in Golden Bay.

Pupu Springs

The springs are the largest freshwater ones in NZ and the clearest in the world.

They are estimated to pump out a combined 14,000 litres of water a second, or 1,200,000m³ per day, yup that’s right! (How much is that in plain english? – 1.2billion x 1 litre milk containers a day that’s all – or for those of you Imperially inclined according to onlineconversions.com = 2,536,051,702.6 pints a day [US, liquid] )


According to Wikipedia that’s enough, or it was in an older TV documentary to provide all the water to Boston for 24 hours.


Clear, well the world record is at 63m for visibility in fresh water and this is where that record was set.

In fact so clear that, with optical instruments, scientists have said it approaches the theoretical maximum for optically pure water. If you are interested in the full terminology for “average black-body visibility” then I believe the above link will satisfy your craving.

And its world famous for diving, although that has practically ceased lately.

The clearest seawater, by comparison, is under the Antarctic ice cap, perhaps not the easiest to view even with a long range tank on your back.


Part of the reasoning for this is the unique topography of the region, for example the large cave system, part of which is Nettlebed Cave. Nettlebed Cave is NZ’s deepest cave system, 889 metres below the surface. It spans 24 kms through the Mount Arthur region of the Top of the South.

From a caving website comes this information too…

…the extreme optical purity, which is uncommon for karst water, is interpreted as a result of the long residence time between aquifer recharge and re-emergence in the springs. According to Williams (1992) the water stays underground roughly three to eight years.


And while we are on the topic of water, another famous export from the area and concerned our clear water is 26000 Vodka, with the claim that the vodka is made from 26,000 year old, ice age water – water entirely untouched by humans and contaminants and sourced from a bore in a secret location.

In related news from the Pupu Springs, check out the underwater clarity of this absolutely “spellbinding” photo here.

UPDATE Dec 2011

Worlds clearest freshwater discovered, yet again, in Nelson



1] NZ Gazettes Worlds Clearest Water Site as a Regional Treasure just check out the photo in this article!

2] of what significance is a Karst Aquafier to the Springs? Check out “that photo” half way down the page for proof!)

3] three more photo’s of the springs here

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Fly Fishing with a difference..

What if you are an avid trout fisherman, but also enjoy the thrill of racing through the outdoor wilderness on your MTB. How about combining the two…..

Mountain Bike Fly Fishing – Nelson

….just another thing to do when you either holiday or live here surrounded by National Parks, rivers, mountains, etc.


Nelson Lakes National Park – whats to do

Owen River Lodge

Fish ~ Can you have too much of a good thing?