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From One to the Other

Cook Strait is the strait of water between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. It connects the Tasman Sea on the west with the South Pacific Ocean on the east.

To the south the coast runs runs 30 kilometres (19 mi) along Cloudy Bay and past the islands and entrances to the Marlborough Sounds. To the north the coast runs 40 kilometres (25 mi) along Palliser Bay, crosses the entrance to Wellington harbour, past some Wellington suburbs and continues another 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to Makara beach.

The strait is named after James Cook, the first European commander to sail through it, in 1770. In Māori it has the name Raukawa or Raukawa Moana. Raukawa may mean "bitter leaves".

Cook Strait is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world. In good weather one can see clearly across the strait. At its narrowest point 22 kilometres (14 mi) separate Cape Terawhiti in the North Island from Perano Head on Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds. Perano Head (South Island) actually lies further north than Cape Terawhiti (North Island).

Due to the inclement weather, many travellers between the islands choose to fly and of course it's way more inconvenient and WAY more fun!

On Sunday 15 September 2013, VATNZ Sunday Night Ops focuses on getting as many travellers as possible between the two Islands by connecting Wellington (NZWN) and Paraparaumu (NZPP) with Picton (NZPN), Woodbourne (NZWB) and Nelson (NZNS) by flying across Cook Strait for four hours!


NZPN Picton, New Zealand


 CallsignRadio NameFrequencyFreq
CTRNZCH-T_CTRChristchurch Control123.700
APPNZWN_APPWellington Approach119.300
DEPNZWN_DEPWellington Approach122.300
TWRNZNS_TWRNelson Tower127.400
 NZWB_TWRWoodbourne Tower118.100
 NZWN_TWRWellington Tower118.800