Aviation Museum in Manderville – Day 165
Seeing vintage planes in Manderville, Southland
Today we have a change on plane from our vintage aircraft flight to visiting the Croydon Aviation Centre in Manderville. If you like this video and want more NZ bucket list inspiration then watch our 365 Days: 365 Activities on YouTube!
Today we are going to see some really old planes.
It doesn’t look like we’re gonna be flying. The weather is not great. We’re gonna have to find ourselves another museum.
So you guys got it, we were supposed to fly in a vintage aircraft today be the weather is not permitting so we’re heading to the same place we’re supposed to go, the Croydon Aviation Company, and there we are going to be visiting their museum. Instead, they have heaps of aircraft here. And the reason why this aviation heritage museum is located here in Manderville is because Manderville was the only place in the entire Gore district that during the prohibition era was still providing alcohol to people so people used to take the train or fly here, booze up, and then fly or train their way back home. And we did learn all about that yesterday when we did visit the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and you can check that out on our previous video on our YouTube channel and to further convince you guys that flying is a major part of the New Zealand history it is actually said that the first ever flight was done in New Zealand. Richard William Pierse flew and landed an aircraft on the 31 March 1903, 9 months before the Wright brothers in the US. But there is not enough documented evidence of that very fact for it to be well known worldwide.
We learn that fact and more with Rose which is taking us all around the aviation centre and telling us a story about each and every single plane that we see.
the first plane that really grabs our attention is the Tiger Moth mainly because this is the plane that we were meant to be doing a flight in today. It does regular flights and it actually used to deliver mail to rural areas in New Zealand and the really weird thing about this plane is that passengers actually sit upfront while the pilot sits behind.
What really alarms us when we look inside the control panels of the planes is the fact that there’s barely any controls in these planes it’s just an example of how far technology has come.
What’s really interesting about the planes in this aviation centre is the fact that almost all of them can still fly and the next plane that we’re looking at is the Dominie which is the original passenger aircraft in New Zealand. And probably the most striking fact is the fact that this plane has a zipper so that mechanics quickly access the engine.
I can’t believe that planes were literally put together with a zip this is a long way from the modern army jets which we can also see in the museum as well.
And the reason why Rose has a story about each and every single plane that we’re seeing is because she actually personally knows every single one of the owners.
A lot of the planes are owned by one man which gave most of the collection to the museum but quite a few other planes are owned by private collectors that actually just storing their plane right here. They trust the heritage centre to maintain and take care of their planes and make sure that when they’re ready to fly they can just show up there and fly their own planes so when you guys are gonna come to visit it you may not see every single one of those planes because some of them might literally be flying as we speak.
One of the planes that I’m really stoked to see right here in this museum is one of the early sightseeing planes that used to fly around Mt Cook because Laura and I have in the plans to fly over Mt Cook and we are both wishing that we’re gonna get a plane with at least a closed window so we don’t freeze our balls while flying above New Zealand’s tallest mountain.
We also can’t help but notice the fancy looking steam train outside of the museum which was actually fished out of the river and restored.
And then we head to the workshop.
So we just got invited to visit the actual workshop where they repair planes from all around the world. So around us are a ton of aircraft parts that are currently being repaired, restored, rebuilt by a passionate guy. it’s pretty incredible to see those aircraft.
It’s really awesome to see such an unusual part of the New Zealand history it’s really not what we expected to be doing on our gap year in New Zealand but it has given us some amazing insights and it’s such an awesome time in Gore.
So tomorrow we are leaving the Gore district and heading to the next section of our Southland adventure which is The Catlins. The Catlins is known for its forest parks, its rugged coast and more importantly in my eyes, its wildlife. So join us tomorrow when we start our Catlins adventure!