Flying Over Auckland

Late last year, I had the good fortune to meet a trained pilot who volunteered to take me and my flatmate up in his plane over Auckland. I’ve always wanted to do this–and in fact had investigated flight prices ($199 for 15 minutes?! Ouch!)–so leapt at the opportunity. We were up there for a few hours on a beautiful early summer day, flying from south Auckland around to Rangitoto and Whangaparaoa, then to Devonport and over the Harbour Bridge and behind the Sky Tower. It was exhilarating. Flying is one of my absolute favourite things to do–if I had the time and money, I’d definitely take pilot lessons.

As always, I had my geologists’ cap on. The trip offered some great vantage points to see Auckland’s volcanoes and geology like I’d never seen them before:

(All photos by Elaine Smid. Feel free to use with proper citation and reference link back to me and this blog.)


After taking off from Ardmore, we flew towards Motukorea and Rangitoto Volcanoes in the Waitemata Harbour.


Here we can see right into Motukorea’s scoria cone and envision how the lava flows rafted some of that scoria away from the top of the cone (resulting in those bumps seen on the flanks).


Clouds moved in as we came closer to Rangitoto’s Central Crater.


Rangitoto’s Central Crater with boardwalk and overlook platform visible.

Looking back at the city and North Shore from the north.


Freshwater Lake Pupuke, which formed in craters created by eruptions, shines in the sun. There are two round, overlapping explosion craters visible, one much smaller and closer to the camera and sea, and the larger one behind it.


Lake Pupuke surrounded by the North Shore, with the city in the left background.


Sprawling Rangitoto Volcano.


Auckland: City of Volcanoes

Rangitoto in background, North Head Volcano in foreground.

The City and her volcanoes.

What a fabulous trip! I wish I could do that every weekend.

All photos by Elaine Smid. Feel free to use with proper citation and reference link back to this blog.

3 thoughts on “Flying Over Auckland

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