A Bay grandmother pulled out all the stops to ensure her granddaughter made a grand entrance to her school ball on Saturday night.

Seventeen-year-old Kirsten Holmes turned up to the Tauranga Girls' College ball in a McLeod crane.

"When we got there there was a huge crowd of people lined up waiting to get in," she said.

"The driver drove the crane straight up to the front of the door and lowered down. Everyone was looking and we got a massive cheer.


"It wasn't exactly a subtle entrance, but I think I pulled it off."

The idea came from her grandmother Val Baker after they discussed possible exciting transportation to her school ball.

"Originally I wanted to go on horseback because I ride horses but we decided it was too unpredictable and I didn't want to get my dress dirty.

"I was on holiday at Lake Rotoiti and my grandma texted me. 'You're going to the ball in a crane!' she said."

Kirsten said her grandmother had been talking to Dean Wright, a fellow horse rider who also worked at McLeod Cranes, and they formed the idea together.

"It's not the first time she's done something like this," Kirsten laughed.

Kirsten's mother Deborah Holmes said her mother's plan was "just typically grandma".

"She's all about having fun. "She's never happier than when she's planning her next adventure. And she always wants her grandchildren to have fun," Kirsten said.

And no, it wasn't the first outrageous transport stunt she had pulled, either.

In 2007, she hired a helicopter for Kirsten's brother Bryce to fly to school in for his second-to-last day of primary school.

Kirsten said reactions from girls at school had been mixed when she had initially told them the plan.

"The reaction varies from person to person. Some people said 'that's so cool!' and other people were like 'a crane? really?"'.

Crane driver Justin Martin said a crane had been used once before for a school ball drop-off a number of years ago for a worker's son but he had looked forward to seeing the girls' reactions.

"Usually boys get more excited about this kind of stuff, big machinery and trucks."

Kirsten said a lot of girls planned to arrive in old-style cars.

She did not have any ideas for the Tauranga Boys' College ball in August and said she wasn't sure she could go any bigger.

"I don't know if you can top a crane."