Depart from Omaka Airfield, in the town of Blenheim and commence your climb up towards 3500 feet. Following the GPS guidance in a south easterly direction, the flight path takes you through the Taylor Pass, the lowest navigable crossing of the Wither Hills.
Reaching WP5, turn right to pick up the Awatere River. This watercourse flows through the heart of the impressive Awatere Valley, a 55km long segment of the Awatere Fault marking the convergent boundary between the Indo-Australian Plate and Pacific Plate.
The seismic thrusting of the tectonic plates here makes the area an earthquake hotspot, and over thousands of years, has been responsible for the formation of the steep mountainous topography. To your left, you’ll see the Inland Kaikoura Range, with peaks up to 7700 feet- whilst to your right, you’ll see the Boddington Range, with peaks up to 6800 feet. Little vegetation grows on the steep slopes making their form all the more dramatic to fly past.
As you continue tracking down the valley, you’ll enter Molesworth Station- New Zealand's largest farm at over 1,800 square kilometres (440,000 acres) and home to the country's biggest herd of cattle. Waypoint MOLE marks an unlisted grass airstrip at the station’s northern boundary, which serves the nearby historic homestead.
You’ll need to climb to about 4800 feet to exit the valley, through the Saxton pass for the second half of the trip, dropping down into the Acheron River valley which carves out the remainder of the flight in a south westerly direction.
Follow the GPS guidance along the river until you reach WP27, where the waterway merges with the Clarence River. Make the right turn, and follow this river through to WP30, where we break off from the river and track through Jollies Pass- at the southern boundary of Molesworth Station, over the hill into Hanmer Springs.
Commence your descent and upon reaching WP33, you’ll be position at a 1 mile final for runway 24 at NZHR (elevation 1091 feet), a small grass airfield serving the nearby township famous for its thermal hot springs.