Monday 28 April 2014

What are the Chances? Another Helicopter Ride!

I couldn’t make this up if I tried. You’re never going to believe it but I have just had another helicopter ride!. This time in a Robinson R44, a little bigger than the R22 and with the doors firmly in place this time.

We are here in Arrowtown for the NZMCA Clutha Valley Area rally which is being held in conjunction with the Arrowtown Autumn Festival. We are parked up in a paddock just over the fence from the well known Millbrook Golf Resort, surrounded by beautiful trees and just 5kms from town.

After we arrived and were parked up, I was wandering around taking a few photos of the property & the vans arriving over the rickety bridge when one of the organisers, Prue, spotted me and commented on me taking photos. Later on in the afternoon I just happened to be walking past a group when Prue saw me & called out. “There’s the lady with the camera. Would you like to have a helicopter ride & take some photos of the gathering?” Well, what could I say?

The owner of the farm where we are parked was in the group and said he’d be back soon and sure enough within the hour & across the valley I heard the now familiar  “whoop, whoop” of a helicopter approaching. We were all gathering for the welcome & “happy hour” and Prue wanted photos of the group along with the vans.

And so for the next 20 minutes or so the pilot & I did three loops of the site cutting in low at the end to catch the group waving. The sun was bright and there were plenty of shadows with all the trees and also lots of reflections caused by the perspex surrounding me in the helicopter but I think I managed to get a fair number of good shots for them. That’s the beauty of doing 3 loops, I could pick & choose the shots.

Millbrook Golf Resort is directly behind the vans and Arrowtown is back against the hills to the left

“Out There” along with another few 5th-wheelers are parked beside the woolshed in an adjoining paddock, you can just see our white roof above the green trees on the bottom left. That is an irrigation pipe that you can see which runs through the farm. It in fact runs through many farms in the area, it was completed in the 1930s and supplies water to the district, bringing it into the valley from a dam far up the Arrow River.

“Happy Hour” in autumn doesn’t last too long if it’s not started early enough, it’s bitterly cold once the sun drops although the fire drum warmed the cockles of a fair few for quite awhile last night. Both mornings we have had a good frost, yesterday the sun followed but this morning it was overcast and very cold. All I can say is thank God for our diesel heaters!

This is the bus (there were two) that carted us off to the festival and home again later in the afternoon yesterday. The owner is a club member and for a small fare we were able to get right into town without worrying about getting a park & fighting the crowds in what is a very small town. The two buses have quite a bit of local history attached to them, they were brought to New Zealand in 1942 and were part of a fleet of 6 that belonged to Routeburn Valley Motors, one of the first tourist operators in the region. They were taken to Kinloch at the head of Lake Whakatipu by the steamer SS Earnslaw.



  1. Hi there, I have spent the morning looking through your blog and have found it very inspirational, places visited and events attended, love of trout fishing - I'm just a beginner.
    Your photos are just stunning and I wonder if you could tell me what brand and model of camera you are using.

    I was at the WOW airshow in 2010 and would have liked to have been at this one with the Jet racing but the weather did put me off and has your pics show it was just beautiful.

    looking forward to more insights and photos.


    Kerry in Kapiti
    ps. am looking at getting a takacat, what does your Man think is the best size for NI lakes.

    1. Hi Kerry, thanks so much for your compliments, they are much appreciated & I'm glad you have enjoyed reading about our travels. Yes the weather was superb for WOW although a little overcast on Saturday but no rain or wind, we were in our own little good weather bubble compared to the rest of the country.

      Regarding my camera, I have a Nikon D7100 & various lens although most of my photos are taken with my heavy "walk around" lens; 18-300mm. Here's the blog post all about my camera & gear-

      We both love the Takacat, it suits us perfectly. David finds the size ideal for fishing & the 8hp two stroke outboard has enough grunt to move us along at a reasonable pace. We have the 3.4 Takacat Lite model. You might like to send me an email-, if you are interested, we know of a near new 3.4 Takacat for sale.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a message, I love reading them! All comments are personally moderated by me and I will post and answer them as soon as possible, Shellie