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All The Way Down: Nelson and Invercargill

After so many North Island based SNOs in recent weeks, we are heading south with this week's event; all the way south.

Fly between the northern- and southernmost regional airports in the South Island: Nelson and Invercargill. The routes fly over some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world.

The northbound leg travels up the spine of the Southern Alps, overflying Queenstown and the Southern Lakes region, before crossing into Buller and descent into Tasman Bay.

The southbound leg diverges from the return leg near Arthur's Pass, and travels through Northern and Central Otago on its way to Southland's largest city. This section of the route is one of the least travelled parts of the VATNZ airspace - most flights follow the coast to the east, or head via Queenstown in the west - and yet contains some of the most striking scenery in the country.

It's a long island, so a jet is recommended in order to complete the return trip in a little over two hours. Prop aircraft will likely have to fly only one leg, or leave as soon as the event gets underway.

Flight routes

Note: Start at either airport and complete a return trip to the other airport and back. (~2.25hr return trip for a jet; prop aircraft will need to fly only one leg or leave as early as possible in the event to complete the return leg in time.)

Note: Non-RNAV equipped aircraft heading south will need to fly via Alexandra slightly to the west of the RNAV route.

Nelson to Invercargill (RNAV): NS Q787 BELEE Y496 DUKOP Y676 NV
Nelson to Invercargill (Non-RNAV - via LX): NS Q787 RY DCT LX H699 NV

Invercargill to Nelson: NV Q787 NS



 CallsignRadio NameFrequencyFreq
CTRNZCH-K_CTRChristchurch Control129.400
 NZCH-S_CTRChristchurch Control129.300
TWRNZNS_TWRNelson Tower127.400
 NZNV_TWRInvercargill Tower118.500