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Thermal Explorer Highway

The Thermal Explorer Highway is one of New Zealand's many famous touring routes. The highway connects Auckland and Napier via Hamilton, Rotorua and Taupo. Along the way, tourists can experience some of New Zealand's best thermal activity, lakes, volcanoes, beaches and vineyards.

This week's SNO takes us along the Thermal Explorer Highway by air to visit the main towns along the way - Auckland (NZAA), Hamilton (NZHN), Rotorua (NZRO), Taupo (NZAP) and Napier (NZNR).

The routes are typically suited to turboprop aircraft and smaller but if you have another aircraft you want to fly, feel free to bring it along. The legs will take from 30 mins to 1 hour and as an added challenge, try to fly the whole highway from start to finish.

Flight Routes

Auckland (NZAA)

To NZHN: AA H211 HN
To NZRO: AA H372 RO
To NZAP: AA H211 AP
To NZNR: AA H372 NR

Hamilton (NZHN)

To NZAA: HN5A/HN5B STARS
To NZRO: HN H328 RO
To NZAP: HN H211 AP
To NZNR: HN H328 RO H372 NR

Rotorua (NZRO)

To NZAA: RO H310 TG G117 RD H167 AA (11000ft and above)
To NZHN: RO H328 HN
To NZAP: RO H310 AP
To NZNR: RO H372 NR

Taupo (NZAP)

To NZAA: AP Y897 LEGER H182 AA (8000ft or above, maintain 7000ft to 25 AP)
To NZHN: AP H211 HN (8000ft or above, maintain 7000ft to 25 AP)
To NZRO: AP H310 RO
To NZNR: AP H211 NR

Napier (NZNR)

To NZAA: NR H211 GENDA Y733 LEGER H182 AA (10,000ft or above maintain 9000ft to 16 NR)
To NZHN: NR H211 GENDA Y733 EMSAR Y775 HN (10,000ft or above, maintain 9000ft to 16 NR)
To NZRO: NR H372 RO
To NZAP: NR H211 AP

Airports

NZAA Auckland, New Zealand

Positions

 CallsignRadio NameFrequencyFreq
CTRNZCH-B_CTRBay Approach119.500
APPNZAA_APPAuckland Approach124.300
TWRNZAA_TWRAuckland Tower118.700
 NZHN_TWRHamilton Tower122.900
 NZNR_TWRNapier Tower124.800
 NZRO_TWRRotorua Tower121.200