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Hoki to Haast

New Zealand’s first licensed airline to fly scheduled services, operated the Hokitika to Haast route on the Scenic West Coast of the South Island. Air Travel (NZ) Ltd was launched in 1934 by legendary pilot Bert Mercer. The airline also pioneered airmail, air ambulance, alpine tourist flying and versatile freight work.

Illustrated by many rare photographs, this book tells the story of de Havilland Fox Moths, Dragonflies and Dominies and how these biplanes became indispensable to the isolated people of South Westland. The sturdy, fabric-covered, wooden and wire aircraft flew in demanding weather, mostly fully loaded, to landing strips on beaches, riverbeds and in the bush. The world’s longest-running de Havilland biplane air service lasted until 1967; an unforgettable mix of excitement and routine, romance and tragedy, ably demonstrating the growing role of aviation for ordinary New Zealanders.


Richard Waugh

Soft Cover 280x210mm

152 Pages

ISBN 978-0-473-15936-8