Myrddin Gwynedd flies NZ8654 from the East Coast to the City of Sails.

The plane:

De Havilland Dash 8. A turbo-prop. This was the second time I've flown in a propeller plane. My first experience was akin to riding the skies in a wobbly, claustrophobic test tube (I was practically sitting on the pilot's knee). This experience was far superior, and not once did I reach for my St Christopher pendant (I'm prone to being a nervous flyer).

Class: All economy.

Price: Good question. This was a work-related trip, so I didn't have to dip into my own coffers. I know, lucky sausage! One-way fares out of Auckland start from $59.


Flight time: All of 50 minutes. Barely enough time to pack in a power nap, exchange some pleasantries with my fellow passengers, and think about what to have for tea.

My seat: 7D. A window seat. I had a clear view of the propeller, which reflected the on-wing lights beautifully as we descended from the clouds and into Auckland.

Fellow passengers: A mixed crowd. Some couples, singles. The majority were business folk travelling back to Auckland from a conference in Gisborne. Not a spare seat in the house.

Entertainment: You make your own. I had a quick read of the in-flight magazine (good), listened to some music (I need to update my library), and indulged in my favourite pastime, people-watching.

The service: Just the one cabin crew member on this flight. He did a fine job purveying tea, coffee and those customary pre-landing sweeteners - lollies!

Food and drink: Tea, coffee, water. And a cookie. Oh, and I'm pretty sure there was fudge on offer at one point. Choice.

The toilets: Just the one at the front of the cabin. I never used it.

Luggage: One checked bag. I like to travel light, so the bag was well under 20kg.

The airport experience: Gisborne airport was busy, but I mananged to grab a seat and imbibe a well-earned beer bought from the airport's well-stocked cafe. There was a good range of food on offer, and the staff were pleasant. Passenger communications over the tannoy were audible and clear, and the airport appeared to be run like a well-oiled machine.

Would I fly this again? Definitely. This was my first time in Gisborne, and I loved it. The weather was pristine, and the trip was a success. My partner and I plan on returning to further explore the area at some stage.