Its so 1965 to be flying in a Fokker Friendship. Yet this is a near brand-new plane (not actually made by Fokker) an ATR72. I couldn’t find a label to see who makes them but Air NZ are buying them for their regional routes flown by Mount Cook Airlines trading as Air NZ Link. Confused? Fortunately they just use the Air NZ code, and they look like Air NZ planes, so who cares.
It is only 6 steps up from the tarmac, and four seats abreast, two on each side. They give out lollies, which always makes me worry about ear drum perforation, but it made great time and we landed early even though we were late leaving.
On the return journey there was a good view of Mount Cook with less cloud cover but I was on the wrong side of the plane and someone opposite lent forward to look out the window so that was the end of Mount Cook for me.
However, there were many geological points of interest out my window. I could see the Pacific Ocean while they looked at Mount Cook. And why are the hills so barren? And what’s with the crop circle farming? And horse track circuits! Everyone has one of those. And all the field separated by hedges, lots of hedges, they are big on hedges and their hedges are big.
I must find out more about the geology if the South Island.