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VFR Saturday - Waikato

VATNZ Flight Club Returns with VFR Saturdays!

Several years ago, VATNZ created the VATNZ Flight Club where our pilots left their commerical aircraft in the hanger and returned to recreational aircraft and flew General Aviation aircraft VFR. Thanks to the iniative of VATNZ member Duncan White, the VATNZ Flight Club returns with semi-regular VFR flights on a Saturday evening.

First cab off the rank is the Mightly Waikato!

So as to make the flight a daylight flight and marvel at the wonders of our beautiful country, set your simulator time for NZ times less 7 hours i.e. 7PM NZST becomes midday in your sim.


  • Depart Hamilton airport via the City Sector 1200 feet or below.
  • Just north of Hamilton Airport is the Waikato River.
  • Keep that to your right. You will soon see Hamilton Lake.
  • Fly directly over Hamilton Lake then turn to heading 285. You should see Lake Rotokauri ahead.
  • Fly directly over Lake Rotokauri.
  • Hopefully you will then see a grass landing strip just before Te Kowhai.
  • Complete a touch and go landing at Te Kowhai (NZTE).
  • Now proceed heading 230 to Raglan airport. (Head straight towards Mt Pirongia on heading 230!)
  • After making it over the hills you will see the Raglan inner harbour.
  • Fly towards the harbour entrance (bar). The airport is on your left just before the harbour bar.
  • Land at Raglan (NZRA) and get some of Raglan's infamous fish & chips.
  • With a full stomach, return to your aircraft.
  • Depart the airport and fly towards the coast. (Admire the sand bar at Raglan)
  • Fly south along the coast at or below 1500 feet.
  • Eventually you will come across two inlets.
  • At the second inlet (Kawhia Harbour) turn left, heading 050, directly towards Mt Pirongia.
  • Fly over the Kawhia inner harbour & directly up the grass valley towards Mt Pirongia, Heading 050.
  • Mt Pirongia is 3146 feet high.
  • Climb to 2500 aiming at the right side of Pirongia.
  • When you are nearing the tree line turn right 150.
  • Fly heading 150 for 2 minutes then turn back to heading 050. Hopefully Pirongia will pass to your left without you hitting it.
  • In the distance you will see a smallish hill that looks link an extinct volcano, Mt Kakepuku.
  • Descend to 1500.
  • About 2/3 of the way to Mt Kakepuku you will see a river/stream/creek. Follow it south. Approx heading is 150. The river will fork.
  • Take the right fork. (it forks at Otorohanga)
  • The river vanishes (X-Plane) but there is a railway line you can follow. In theory you should be able to follow the river all the way to Te Kuiti. Approx heading 190.
  • Fly over Hangatiki.
  • Land or Touch & Go at Te Kuiti (NZTT). The airport is on the right side of a river before you get to Te Kuiti.
  • Take off from Te Kuiti heading north, 360. You will see Mt Kakepuku again.
  • Fly between Mt Kakepuku & Te Kawa Hill (a smaller volcano) to the right of Mt Kakepuku.
  • Straight ahead you will see Te Awamutu.
  • Head slightly left of Te Awamutu towards Lake Ngaroto. Te Awamutu is actually at the edge of the control zone for NZHN.
  • Call the tower for permission to enter the control zone.
  • Tower will be online and instruct you to enter the control zone from Swamp sector. By this time you will be nearly over Lake Ngaroto which is smack bang in the instrument sector.
  • Over Ngaroto turn right towards Cambridge, bearing 035
  • You will see the Waikato river. Turn left to follow the river towards Mystery Creek. You are now in the swamp sector.
  • Join the left/right downwind circuit as instructed.
  • Land at NZHN.

Have fun and keep an eye on the VATNZ Webpage and Forums for the next VATNZ Flight Club VFR Saturday event!


NZRA Raglan, New Zealand

NZTE Te Kowhai, New Zealand

NZTT Te Kuiti, New Zealand


 CallsignRadio NameFrequencyFreq
APPNZHN_APPBay Approach125.300
TWRNZHN_TWRHamilton Tower122.900